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Friday 29 July 2011

Shoe Porn: ASOS Chunky T-bars

Good news deserves good shoes. This is one of my very favourite rules of life. And as today has been a good news day, I've spent the last hour shoes shopping. And I've stumbled upon these chunky heeled t-bars at ASOS.

I absolutely love the chunky heel and I'm all about the contrasting colours at the moment. I don't own any green shoes, and these look like they'll be pretty comfy. Chunky heels are much better for walking and chasing buses. All of my favourite shoes are t-bars. They're perfect for now and also autumn and will look brilliant with opaques. These will look lovely with purple tights.

They're just £45, and while I think the heel might be a little too chunky and not quite high enough, I adore them. They'll have been bought by the time you've read this.

Cocktail Hour: Frank's Campari Bar, London

The most interesting bars in London are hidden away. Whether it's Bourne & Hollingsworth down some secret stairs or the Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town behind a fridge in a diner, London loves a secret drinking hole.

But the bar that everyone is going nuts over at the moment is Frank's Campari Bar in Peckham. The only bar I know of on top of a multi-storey carpark. And the views are gorgeous. It's certainly one of the most unique places to sip a cocktail. And if you hit it at the right time, you'll be privy to some of the best sunsets across the city.

Cocktails are good, and they're pretty cheap at £5 a pop. The £15 bottle of wine we drank last night wasn't the best I've ever had, but drinkable enough to require another one shortly after. Frank's isn't fancy (you can't turn a carpark in to fancy, let's not try) but it is cool. And taking your friends to a carpark for their night out is a lot of fun indeed.

Go before September 30th, otherwise it'll be gone for another year. Then you'll be left with just a bunch of grumpy friends in a carpark.

Tick Tock! Pip Clock by Koziol

The other day as I faced another battle against the time-space continuum in order to get to an appointment on time, I realised I may not face these battles quite so often if I had a clock. Obviously I have one on my phone and one on the cooker but these require me being in a specific room or pressing buttons in order to check the time. It must be much easier if time is there, right in front of you.

Like in the form of this clock from Koziol. It reminds me of Alice In Wonderland for some reason and we all know that The White Rabbit was keen on getting to places on time. I'd like looking at this and so I could always be on time. Or less rushed at least and that can only be a good thing.

Pip clock, £37 from Koziol

Sluttishly Savoury: Aubergine & Prosciutto Rollatini

Ever since a recent Italian night with friends, for which I whipped up this tiramisu for dessert, I have been meaning to recreate the rollatini dish made by our hostess. I had never tried it before and it was pretty much love at first taste. So tasty in fact, that despite a full and happy tum I demanded the leftovers in doggy bag to take home.

This week I noticed that I happened to have all the ingredients I needed nestle inside my fridge. It was clearly meant to be. Not only is it pretty darn tasty, it is also relatively quick and easy to make. It can easily be adapted for vegetarians, just leave out the prosciutto, its still just as tasty I promise.
Aubergine & Prosciutto Rollatini
Serves 2 as a main dish

You will need:

1 large aubergine
1 egg, lightly beaten
100g fresh breadcrumbs
Olive oil
6 - 8 slices of prosciutto ham
200g ricotta
50g strong cheddar, grated
125g mozzarella, grated
200g Tomato sauce (I used homemade but feel free to use a jar of your favourite brand)
Black Pepper

Make it!

1. Preheat your oven to 350F/175C/Gas Mark 4

2. Slice your aubergine lengthways, each slice should be about 5mm thick. Dip the aubergine into the beaten egg and then into the breadcrumbs.

3. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and fry your aubergine slices until the breadcrumbs are crisp and golden, then place on some kitchen roll to cool and drain any excess oil.

4. In a bowl combine the ricotta, cheddar and about half of the mozzarella. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

5. Take a slice of cooled aubergine and lay a piece of prosciutto on top of it. Place a spoonful of the cheese mixture at one end and roll just like you would if you were making a swiss roll. Place the roll, seam side down in an oven proof dish and repeat with the remaining aubergine slices.

6. Pour the tomato sauce over the aubergine rolls and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella. Pop into the oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with some pasta, veggies or a salad. Buon Appetito!

Shop in the Spotlight: The Future Mapping Company

Globes and maps have always fascinated me. I used to spend hours looking through our atlas when I was a kid, planning where I might travel to. Amazing places, parts of the world that had names that I couldn't pronounce. Everyone tells you that the world is a small place, but it's really not. It's huge.

The Future Mapping Company take maps to a whole new level. Fascinating, but beautiful as well. This map of London helpfully has cycling paths mapped out, so you can plan your route while you drink your coffee.

This colour map has political and physical information in it. And it's also very pretty. Perfect for planning your next holiday. This map is just £28.

They also do wallpaper maps, at £39 per square metre.

So once you've got a gorgeous map on the wall? Where are you going to go exploring?

Dream Dress: Blue Stripe Dress

I can't take credit for finding this blue striped dress. It's actually the wonderful work of Jenny over the The Style PA. But when she's not looking (I'm going to distract her with a puppy), I do intend on buying it. It's just too bright and summery not to.

I love the rough stripe edges. They stop this dress from being dull and predictable (anyone else over the nautical trend?) It's by Closet which surprised me. Usually Closet are one colour pencil dresses, so it's nice to see them doing something a bit different. I like the back too:

There's that sexy shape that we all know and love! It's £40 from Fashion Union and it's a perfect Friday purchase.

Thursday 28 July 2011

Design Porn: Stephanie Earl

Lace is really popular right now, but while little finishes to clothes are pretty easy to wear, decorating your home with it isn't as easy. Before you know it, you've got net curtains and doilies and a bingo hall membership (I would LOVE a bingo membership by the way). That's where Stephenie Earl comes in. Her lace ceramics are gorgeous and modern.

There's nothing old ladyish about this cup and saucer. You can choose what colours you get before it's glazed, and it's £35.

Stephanie also works with glass in her lace creations. These lace texured bowls start from £35, and the colours can be tailored to you.

I think the designs work best on porcelain, and these small lace jugs are beautiful. They're so simple and understated without being boring. They're £35 each.

Seeing stars

It's one of my closest friend's 30th birthday in a couple of weeks. The theme of her birthday bash? Stars and stripes (I'm not actually that sure why, she's not American but, hey, it's her birthday and she can pick whatever theme she wants to). My ongoing obsession with sailor stripes has been well documented on this site and so, for a bit of a change, I've been searching shops for the perfect starry number to wear instead.

I've become quite infatuated with this belted dress with star print, from ASOS. It's cute and flirty and only £45. In fact, it's so suitable, I reckon the birthday girl herself might have bought it (Layla, if you're reading this, could you confirm?).

Also very nice, and less likely to steal the starlight from the birthday girl is this top from Zara. Only £29.99 with plenty of future wear potential included in the price.

Marks and Spencer's Limited Collection are offering this star print bow top. Were it a winter birthday, I'd definitely buy it and wear it with a sexy pencil skirt. I'm not so sure that look works for a summer barbecue though. Should I change my mind, it's £29.50.

My favourite option so far: investing £24 in this stellar lucite brooch pin from Devoted 2 Vintage and pinning it to the front of my favourite striped dress. Dating to the 1950s, the look will combine two of my favourite things: a little bit of vintage and a nod to a good theme.

(That said, I'm still on the lookout for stylish star patterned clothing. If you see any, let me know - I've got until 6 August!)

Stilton and Walnut Salad with Raspberry Dressing


In a harmonious series of events, my trip to John Lewis to buy my mother's birthday present led me to the food hall where I encountered the mindblowing taste of A L'Olivier Framboise, (£5.99), a truly scrumptious raspberry vinegar that was so thick with fruit pulp it might as well have taken a trip to the deed poll and changed its name to dressing.

A few days later, I was reminded of this luscious fancy when enjoying a starter at the National Portrait Gallery restaurant that took a similar dressing, but whizzed it up with stilton, honey-toasted walnuts, chicory and salad. It was absolutely amazing, and I began obsessing about serving it up at a lunch party I was having in Hampshire for my family and 17 friends.

Originally I'd planned to toast the walnuts in a lazy homage to the NPG version, but confusion with my mother's Aga led to the poor dears being burnt to an unrescuable crisp. Happily, she found a bag of pieces in her cupboard at which we rejoiced enormously. You can do whatever you like with yours, but honestly: untoasted, unhoneyed walnuts tasted brilliant with the sluttish version of this salad.

I also ditched the chicory, for the simple reason that I had complete chicory-block and life was too short to figure out what on earth to do with it.

Stilton and Walnut Salad with Raspberry Dressing - serves 10

215g good Stilton, crumbled (I used Tesco's Finest Long Clawson because I'd left Waitrose and couldn't be arsed to go back)
200g walnut pieces
Two to three bags of salad
A L'Olivier Framboise to serve

Layer your salad, stilton and walnuts in a vast bowl. Pour over a decent whack of the dressing and toss, then pour over a little more for style. Serve to your friends, then realise the buggers have eaten it all and you're going to need to make more.

This is a perfect summer salad, especially if you want to make something with huge impact and zero time. Unfortunately, I had zero time, so instead of a picture of this delicious salad, you can have a picture of my bloggette friend Jess managing to grab a last bit. Enjoy!

Baking for beginners: Epic mini scones

Wedding season is totally upon us like a drunk, sleazy uncle. Despite all the festivities, these times of financial hardship and economic rubbish mean we can't justify new shoes for every wedding; and we are finding that other cuts have to be made, too.

At a recent wedding, we were all asked to bring something delicious for the guests to eat, as there was no way they could afford caterers.

I decided you can't go far wrong with a whole load of mini scones. A LOAD of them. They were little, loaded with jam and cream, and went down a storm.

Nom nom nom.

You'll need (for 15 mini scones):
  • 450g plain flour
  • 250ml milk
  • Big pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of caster sugar
  • 55g butter
Make it!
  • Preheat your oven to 220 degrees C. You can contemplate the importance of lipgloss whilst you do this, if you like.
  • Double sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
  • Soften the butter in a microwave for about 5 seconds. Rub the butter in with the flour mix, crumbling and blending until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add the sugar and mix well.
  • Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the milk. Combine the ingredients gently, but firmly. I usually use a palette knife to do this, but realistically a wooden spoon will do the job just fine.
  • Once you've got a nice dough going on, it's time to roll it out. Make sure you have a clean, dry and non-greasy surface and be liberal with your flour. A good sprinkling will stop the mixture from sticking, but a touch more helps the scones brown in the oven, and give them an ever-so-slightly crispy finish. Mmm.
  • Roll out the dough to about a half inch thick. As these are mini scones, you want a 1.5 inch cookie cutter. Once cut, place on a lined baking sheet and brush with a little milk.
  • You'll have to bake in batches, so go for half the scones at a time, cooking in the middle of the oven for 10-12 minutes.
  • Once cooked and cut, you can add whatever fillings you choose; personally, it's jam and cream all the way!

Etsy Pick: Summersville Bone China mugs

Having recently spent almost an entire day packing away my china my head tells me that I don't really need any more mugs. However, my heart still very much wants these Bloomsbury bone china mugs designed by the lovely Lu Summers (who also designs and screenprints her own range of highly covetable fabrics). Preferably at least one in each colourway, if not two.

The mugs cost £8.48 each and are available in turquoise, black and red from Lu's etsy shop, summersville.

Modesty is the best policy

Perhaps it's the fact I'm almost another year older, but recently I seem to have spent far too much time checking for developing wrinkles, as well as far too much money on fancy face creams to try and keep them at bay. In fact I seem to have become such a vain cow about my skin that when I saw this soap dish I had to laugh out loud.

A modest challenge to the bombast of vanity. And a reminder that soap, water and a smile will probably make me look better than any amount of time or money spent worrying about wrinkles. At £15, it's a lot cheaper than many face creams too. Buy it from Rockett St George.

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Cocktail Hour: Aviation

I can't WAIT to get my hand on a bottle of creme de violette. It makes drinks look mystical! Who doesn't want a mystical coloured cocktail? (Creme de menthe is not mystical, that stuff can go right back in the drinks cabinet where you found it).

The blue tint to this gin cocktail makes it look fab, but you'll also be left with a gorgeous violet taste (yep, just like those Parma Violet sweets you had before you were old enough to drink). It's a much nicer blue than curacao, don't you think?

You'll need:
Shake it!

Shake the ingredients in a cocktail shake filled with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass and pop the cherry in. The Aviation is probably best enjoyed on your own private jet. But if you don't have one of those, a wheelie office chair might do the trick.

Flickr image from scaredy_kat's photostream.

Dream Dress: Joy Belted Wrap Dress

Yep, two posts about Joy this week. See, when I mentioned the dress that I bought instead of this blouse, it wasn't on the website. Now it is, I couldn't wait to show it to you. It's my new favourite summer dress. This wrap dress is all slouchy and lazy and slinky. It's the kind of dress that looks like you haven't even bothered getting dress properly, but in a really good way.

The blue in this photo is actually much brighter than it is in real life - it's more of a pale duck egg colour. But isn't it pretty? It comes in brown too:

It's just the right amount of slinky - it's not silk, so it's still quite forgiving. Clinging to good bits, skimming over not so great bits. I love the belt - it's perfectly accessorised already, you don't need anything else. It's the dress that I'm going to live in for the next two months and it's only £45.

Wallpaper Wednesday: Domestic

Domestic Slut Sara has just moved house, and I promised that I'd her find her some wall coverings for her new home (this obsession with paper has to be put to good use, after all). We've featured so many designers throughout Wallpaper Wednesday, but until today we've never written about Domestic on Bouf. Now, these designs aren't cheap, but they are fabulous.

How cool is this sunset mural? I'm not entirely sure where I'd put it - it's 4 metres wide and I reckon you need to have a LOT of open walls to really make the most of it.

I like this one even more. As car wrecks go, this one is pretty cute and colourful.

Now, I wouldn't want this in my house, but I absolutely LOVE it. Down the rabbit hole, anyone?

Now, these wonderful murals are £436. That's a LOT of pennies for something that covers one wall. Great if you really want to go to town on your living space, but not entirely realistic for most of us, even if looking at the designs is fun. But Domestic also do some great wall stickers.

This traveller map is lots of fun and great for any of you with a travel bug. it'll help you plan our next trip, although I'd be tempted to draw an Eiffel Tower and some giraffes on it as well.

This flock of gulls sticker is one of the best I've seen. It's subtle, but it'll look awesome on any wall. The stickers starts at £39 so they're much more purse friendly than the wallpapers. But I would still love to have that sunset mural hanging in my home.

Sluttishly Vegan: Braised Red Cabbage

I know, braising cabbage shouldn't be something I'm doing in summer, but there are two reasons why it's a good idea right now. The first? Oh just look at it outside. Hardly a tropical heatwave, is it? And the second? Well, red cabbage is really tasty and this will taste great for those amazing slapdash lunches that are just a bit of salad things thrown onto a plate. Heck, M&S make a fortune from those kinds of dinners.

And braised red cabbage actually tastes good cold. Think of it as a coleslaw alternative with leftover roast chicken (that's what I did with it anyway). The flavours are rich, and if you've been suffering with the sunny day-ruining summer cold, it'll make you feel instantly better.

You'll need:
  • 1 red cabbage
  • 1 onion
  • 2 green apples
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 whole nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or, if you cook like me, a shake of 'oh, that looks like it's enough')
  • 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • Couple of knobs of butter
Make it!
  • Preheat your oven to 150 degrees
  • Remove the outer leaves from your cabbage, chop up and throw into a casserole dish (make sure it's one that you also have a lid to - where do those lids go?).
  • Peel and dice your onion and throw that in there too.
  • Peel and core your apples and chop into little pieces. Mix with the rest of the veg.
  • Chop your garlic and grate your nutmeg. Add with the cinnamon and mix everything well.
  • Pour on the white wine vinegar, and add the knobs of butter on top.
  • Leave in the oven for 2 hours, stirring a couple of times while cooking and fill your house with amazing smells.
Flickr image from kthread's photostream.

Sluttishly Snug: Liberty Art Fabric Dressing Gown

Lounging is too often an activity that gets pushed down the To Do list in favour of such tedium as Cleaning The Bathroom. If you had this very lovely dressing gown from Zara Home though, I'm betting that you'd put Lounging straight to the top of the list.

The Lodden Caroline fabric is pretty but not too twee or overpowering. I always think Liberty fabrics are quietly luxurious, which is what you want from your loungewear.

Lounging in luxury isn't cheap though. This will cost you £79.99. Maybe one to put on a present wishlist!

Lodden Caroline Liberty Art Fabric dressing gown, £79.99 at Zara Home

I'll chalk you in...

Things were quiet on Monday. The nice kind of quiet. I had just enough work to be getting on with, time to eat cake and nap, and lots of time for plotting and scheming. But then SOMETHING HAPPENED AND OMG WHERE HAS MY WEEK GONE? WHAT DAY IS IT? CAN I HIDE UNDER MY DESK UNTIL IT'S GONE PLEASE?

My Google calendar is a mess, and I'm a little bit frazzled. Instead of combatting this by going to the pub at lunchtime (I'll be honest, that's tempting option two), I'm going to invest in this chalkboard calendar wall sticker from Rose & Grey (£69.95 - a small price to pay for my sanity). I'll stick it above my desk and if plans go kaput, I'll scribble them out straight and add in the right things. I'm sure it'll help me keep track of everything. Or, I'll just fill it with fun things like drinks and dancing. And that's just as worthwhile.

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Dept. of Messing About

Usually signs with hilarious slogans drive me up the wall. They're not big and they're not clever. But imagine, just imagine, if there really was a Department for Messing About. This is where you would go when you needed advice on balloon animal modelling. You'd be encouraged to prank call them! And they'd almost definitely be able to give you some excellent work skiving excuses when you wanted to go to Alton Towers.

The Department of Messing About sounds like something I'd like in Sluttery HQ. Just a little corner of the living room, for nothing sensible. There are no bills allowed in this department. Only silliness is allowed. This is probably where I will build cushion forts to eat Angel Delight in.

For that reason, this sign is all sorts of brilliant. It's from Thursday Press and it's £35 unframed, and £73.50 in the frame you can see in the photo.

Sluttishly Sweet: Lemon Ice

Is there anything nicer than a lemony dessert at the end of a meal? As much as my eye is drawn to ice-cream sundaes and fudge brownies, I know I'll regret anything that doesn't have that sharp lemon lightness. After a heavy meal, it comes as a beautiful burst of freshness, and is incredibly refreshing in summer.

Lemon ice is a Spanish dish and is a cross between ice-cream and sorbet. It doesn't have double cream but it does use milk and eggs. No need for an ice-cream maker though - just a freezable container and a whisk.

Lemon ice

You will need:

  • 1 egg, separated
  • 150g sugar
  • 225ml milk
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
Make it!
  • Separate the egg, putting the yolk in one bowl and the white in another. Whisk the yolk with the milk, then whisk in the sugar and lemon zest and juice.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff (warning: this will take a lot of arm work. Use a food processor or electric whisk if you have one).
  • Gently fold the egg whites into the lemony mixture. Taste it to see if it needs more lemon or sugar. Pour into a shallow dish and freeze.
  • After two hours, remove and whisk again. This stops ice crystals from forming.
  • Refreeze until you want to eat it.
Enjoy a bowlful on its own or with a handful of raspberries. I've taken to spooning it into my mouth before dinner, pitifully claiming it's a palate cleanser, ok? It'll keep for about a week - don't hang on to it for too long because of the raw egg.

The Dampier Bar Globe

A secret cabinet is one of my favourite things. A secret cabinet for booze, even more so.

I’ve lusted after a bar globe of my own since I first saw them, but they’re frequently enormous and, even more so, expensive. Unless you are quite exceedingly rich, you’ll likely only see replicas of the 17th century originals, which stemmed from gentlemen having a nice chat about the world with an enormous drink to keep them going. I would have paid infinitely more attention in geography if this had been the case in school.

Despite months of scouring eBay and Gumtree, I’ve yet to find a full-size one that isn't at an eyewatering cost (or which looks cheap, until whopping great shipping and tax costs are added on at checkout!) So I adore this little bijou version from the Italian company Zoffoli: not too big, but utterly gorgeous, and legless. Arf!

At 20” in diameter, it’s perfect for a flat, rather than a house. You can store two bottles, and about nine glasses inside, letting you keep your prettier spirits on display. I’d probably keep my Gordon’s in here, and leave the decanters and complicated vodkas out.

It’s £112.95 from Just Globes and you get free p&p along with your globe, all bedecked with 17th century markings, sea monsters and lovely things.

Here be monsters…monsters of booze.

Sluttishly Savoury: Lightly fried chicken and creamy pea penne

The weather is looking up, but in recent weeks the incessant rain has left me craving hearty, wholesome food. This combination of fried chicken and pasta is a real belly-sweller; but it's very delicious, and you can share it with a friend or loved one if you are feeling generous. The great thing about frying chicken is that it leaves you with a moist and tender breast (ooh, err Missus!); just perfect with pasta, or torn and slung in a salad.

However you enjoy this super-simple dish, remember that, if you want to go uber-healthy, then you can dispense with the chicken skin as well.

You'll need:
  • One organic chicken breast
  • One cupped hands of dried penne pasta
  • Half a handful of frozen peas
  • Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons of dry white wine
  • 5 tablespoons of double cream
Make it!
  • Lightly salt a pan of water and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender (about 8-10 minutes)
  • Whilst the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil and begin to fry the chicken breast. Place the chicken in skin first, and fry for about 5 minutes each side.
  • Add the wine to the frying pan and cook on a high heat until the wine is all but evaporated.
  • Remove the chicken from the frying pan, drain the pasta and add to the frying pan over a low heat.
  • Add the cream and peas and stir well. Cover and simmer for two minutes. Serve.

All Buttoned Up

I very nearly bought this on Sunday. But, I was only allowed to buy one thing that I tried on in Joy, and decided on a dress instead (brand new so not on the website yet). But I still really like this Peter Pan blouse. Even though I'd get strawberry ice cream down it in seconds. How do people keep white things white? Magic? Scotchguard?

The front is pretty and simple, but I'm all about the interesting back. And this one is very beautiful indeed.

Look at the cute buttons! The top hangs really well (although you'll need a simple bra underneath - any lacy patterns will show through the fabric). It's just £32 and I want it.

Design Porn: Evthokia

Evthokia want to make people smile with their designs. And you know what? They really do. They make quirky ceramics that won't look out of place in your home with the rest of your kitchenware.

This plate is FAB. Love the smear design and the rest of the plate collection.

This is my favourite range. Love how simple the bite mark is in this cup and saucer.

Need a little luxury in your home? Then how about some plates with the chandeliers on?

I like Evthokia. It's just a little bit silly and playful without being over the top. Not unlike the Domestic Sluts.

Monday 25 July 2011

The Oasis Summer Sale

Now I've booked myself a summer holiday (a week in Croatia, with this gorgeous view), I'm basically seeing it as an excuse to shop. A lot. And all of the holiday stuff is very cheap in the shops at the moment (ironically, just as the sun starts to come out to play). Oasis' sale is very good at the moment. Here are some of my favourite bargains.

These sunglasses are £5! Just £5. The lace rim is pretty. And at a fiver, I won't be so sad if I sit on them. There are lots of good sunglasses in the sale for £5.

I've been staring at this red chevron dress for a while, trying to decide if I like it. I've decided that I do (I tend to like all stripy things). It's now £20, and if you're on the petite side, you get to choose between this and the black one.

I love obi belts. Love them. They're casual, they pull an outfit together and they make your waist look tiny. This one is £25.

These cuffed shoes of beauty will soon be on my feet as I ordered them last week. They're perfect holiday shoes and now they're just £15.

Design Porn: Christian Lacroix Papier

I absolutely ADORE fashion and stationery collaborations. They just work. Whether it's textiles, sketches or silly little scribbles, designers doing their thing with stuff I can write on makes me very happy. The Christian Lacroix Papier collection at the V&A is no exception.

This notebook is small, it'll fit in my pocket, it's bleedin gorgeous. Stripes mixed with florals really does it for me. It's £10.

I love these couture notecards. If I got one of these in the post in the morning, I'm sure I'd be inspired to wear my most colourful clothes. They're £15 for 8.

Oh how I want a copy of Sleeping Beauty illustrated by Christian Lacroix. Gimme! Fairy Tale ladies always were the most fashionable, even if in the real world Ms. Beauty would have got up, had a shower and gone to the pub. It's £12.99.

How gorgeous are these notebooks? They come all boxed up and they're so pretty that I'd only use them for my most important thoughts. These are not notebooks for scribbly shopping lists. They're £15 for the set.

This is my favourite notebook. I'd spend far too much time with my head in this journal, writing secret thoughts and plans. It's £25.

Like the range? This week, the V&A are also offering 15% off these gold and silver notecards. The whole range is beautiful, whether you keep it yourself or give them as presents. (I'm probably not sharing.)

Sluttishly Vegetarian: Spanish Tortilla Tarts

Tortilla is one of my favourite things. It's also my benchmark for tapas restaurants - if you run a Spanish restaurant and can't get tortilla right, I'm guessing not much else will be right either. But until yesterday, I hadn't tried to make it. I'm not very good at eggy things. Omelettes, quiches, fried eggs - they all just tend to go wrong.

Yesterday was no exception. Upon realising that our non-stick pan was no longer non-stick, I had to do some improvising. That's how these mini tortilla tarts came about - they were done in my muffin tray in the oven, rather than on a hob (that would have turned into a big fried up mess). Authentic? Not really. But they're very tasty, and they're perfect picnic portion sized. This recipe will make one large tortilla if your frying pan is better than mine (leave on the hob to cook slowly for 25 minutes, turning when the liquid is nearly gone from the top), or 12 mini tortilla tarts.

You'll need:
  • 6 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 small onions
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 5 eggs
Make it!
  • Peel and thinly slice your potatoes and onions. In that order, otherwise you'll be a sobbing mess.
  • Slowly fry the potato and onion slices on the lowest heat with salt and pepper. Covering them will make them cook quicker, but make sure you stir every so often so they don't brown. They should take about 20 minutes.
  • While they're finishing off, whisk up your eggs and put to one side.
  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and lightly grease a muffin tray.
  • Spoon your potato and onion mixture into your muffin tray indents (you'll have a spoonful left over - that's for eating).
  • Pour over your egg mixture, but be careful not to go right to the top. Give them tarts a little stir - you want the egg mix to go inbetween the layers, not just around your potatoes.
  • Pop in the oven for about 12 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.
  • Run a tablespoon around the edge of your tarts, and either leave to go cold and have as picnic snack, or eat them warm. I bet you £10 that you can't leave them to cool.
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