Beefcakes & Doilies

 

Uncle Beefy, as well as being one of the best bloggers on the Interwebulator, also makes the most incredible  cupcakes I’ve ever tasted anywhere. 

 

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His cakes are perfection in a mouthful – not remotely dry and with a satisfying crumb that is neither too stodgy nor disappointingly ethereal.  Each is topped with the precisely the right amount of not-too-sweet frosting, exploding with fresh authentic flavours.  I truly have never had a better cupcake, my own sadly included.

 

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And they are oh so pretty. On Sunday he gave me one box of lemon cupcakes with fresh strawberry frosting and another box of chocolate chip cakes with a creamy caramel frosting, which was brushed with golden lustre dust, and the same champagne colour as extremely expensive satin underwear.

 

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Unless we can persuade Monsieur LeBoeuf  to open a worldwide mail order business, you may never get to taste these beauties, but I though you might at least want to look and drool.

The beautiful linen tablemat is from Soraam on Etsy.  I met its creator Soojin Yum at a recent Seattle foodie event. Her gorgeous linens are all handprinted using water-based inks on natural materials and come in lots of beautiful designs. Well worth checking out.

   
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Cumming – the Fragrance

 

So we interrupt normal blog programming (insofar as anything is ‘normal’ on this blog), to talk about fragrance.

 

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This Sunday afternoon, following a delicious brunch at Spring Hill restaurant in West Seattle with my dear friends eM and Uncle Beefy, we stopped by the delightful Knows Perfume fragrance boutique on California Avenue to sniff a few scents.

Twenty minutes later our senses were reeling as owner Christen Cottam talked us through our scent preferences and sprayed paper strips with gay abandon.  Knows Perfume specialises in small niche perfume ranges such as L’Artisan Parfumeur, Penhaligons and Juliette Has a Gun, rather than the big brands, and Christen has an encyclopedic knowledge of every one.

We were in between sniffs, when I spied a bottle of Cumming –  the celebrity fragrance from sexy, funny, androgynous Scottish actor Alan Cumming.  I’d vaguely heard that he’d produced one, but had thought it was entirely a joke, what was it doing in such serious perfume company?

Christen explained that it was actually fabulous  – with notes of pine, peat, rubber, whisky, leather, dirt and moss. Uncle Beefy tried it at once, and out of the bottle it was horrible – like rolling on an old beer-stained, smoke-imbued leather sofa in a sweaty club which has been cursorily wiped down with a cheap pine-scented cleaner.

So we continued chatting and sniffing and experimenting until Uncle B suddenly said ‘you know, this is actually smelling rather wonderful’. And it was. Sexy and earthy and natural and woodsy. 

So of course  I had to try it. Same nasty whiff of stinky jockstrap to start, but then on me it dried down to a most deliciously complex mix of vanilla, earth, pepper and orange peel – not like some of those overwhelming vanilla scents which smell like you’ve been smearing yourself with custard -  but more as if I’d been eating orange-scented sugar cookies and exuding them through my skin, with underlying sexy, sweaty undertones. Honestly my dears I was sniffing myself for the rest of the afternoon.

 


It smells EXACTLY like this video

The original commercially-produced Cumming has apparently been discontinued – the fact that it smells DISGUSTING out of the bottle probably doesn’t help -  but has been reformulated for extra longevity by the original perfumer Christopher Brosius and is now included within his range.  I know perfume is a highly subjective subject, but if it doesn’t work for you – and on eM’s skin chemistry it stayed resolutely ‘smelly wet sock’ – then chances are it will do wonders for your man, I couldn’t stop sniffing Uncle B either, though on him it smelled less vanilla-y and more earthy.

All proceeds from the perfume go to charity, so it really wouldn’t hurt to buy a little sample. I  am utterly obsessed.

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The Minx’s Bedroom

 

Pssst!  Want to peak inside the Minx’s newly painted bedroom?

 

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In the end we decided to go for a Maxtrix loft bed with girly playhouse panels and a slide.  It’s not as cool and funky as those other loftbeds, but it was within our budget and has potential to be raised higher with a desk underneath when the Minx is older.  The full interchangeable Maxtrix system – comprising beds, slides, ladders, playhouse and castle panels, desks, shelving, trucklebeds and underbed storage is available here. We ordered online and were delighted with their quick delivery and excellent customer service. The bed arrived in eleven separate boxes, so you need to have someone who’s handy with a screwdriver in the house, but is sturdy and well made for flat-pack furniture. Most importantly the Minx and her friends absolutely adore it.

 

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The colour scheme for the rest of the accessories is a bit more pastel and girly than I would necessarily like, but it was somewhat dictated by the pastel bed curtains. I was ecstatic with how well her old accessories fitted into the scheme.

The cool lights above the bed are from Ikea, the sheer curtains with pink ribbon details are from the Land of Nod, the quilt and pillow is from Pottery Barn, the green circular rug and the daisy rugs were, I think from Target, but I can’t find them online, and the family portrait was commissioned from Auntie Cookie.  The knotty pine chest of drawers was bought at a junk shop in the UK years ago though we added glass knobs from Chloe Alberry on Portobello Road. The embroidered sampler above was picked up on Ebay.

 

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The chandelier was another Ebay find. You can’t see very well, but it has little green and pink glass daisies on it and it makes a super cool shapes on the ceiling. The pink daisy flowers make everything glow pinkly when lit.

 

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The pink rocking chair by NurseryWorks came from Tottini in Seattle, though I don’t particularly recommend it as it has a very violent and potentially dangerous rock.  The daisy cushion came from some sidewalk sale and the pistachio green beaded cushion featuring a fluffy Westie with a pink diamante’ necklace is from mirrormirror. The fairy wings are from the Minx’s extensive collection.

 

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The Minx is a voracious reader, so underneath the bed we put the mattress from her old bed, her Land of Nod bookshelf, various blankets and cushions and another Ikea Smila Blomma light, this time in white.

I love this because it hides the no t very aesthetically pleasing bookshelf (we’re lucky enough to have a separate playroom for her, so toy storage in the bedroom is not an issue). 

The Minx just told me that she loves it because she gets to read in peace without having to listen to me yelling.  The cats also love it, but they haven’t told us why.

 

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It also glows very excitingly in the dark.

 

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Before pictures are here.  

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Things I Am Loving – Aviary Wallpaper

 

Phew! I think I’ve just about got the Oscars out of my system.  I was on the brink of comparing Nicole Kidman to an armadillo, but stopped myself just in time.

In other news, Liberty London Girl just tweeted about the fabulous wallpaper in the bathrooms at the Soho Grand Hotel in NYC.

 

Steinberg Aviary Wallpaper

 

It’s called Aviary by F Schumacher, and the pattern was designed by Saul Steinberg, who was a cartoonist for The New Yorker in the 1950s.

Here is is in situ at the Soho Grand.   I may have to stay here next time I’m in NYC, just so I can sit in the bathroom.

 

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This wallpaper needs to be in my life somehow as a matter of urgency.  Time to work on the downstairs bathroom? It’s also available at Decorator’s Best.

{Found via Liberty London Girl’s Tumblr.  Additional pictures via Remodelista and Tea For Joy}

   
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Accessories They Should Have Worn – Georgina Chapman

 

Georgina Chapman

 

Georgina Chapman, the designer behind Marchesa and wife of Harvey Weinstein, knows her fashion onions, so I can’t understand why (SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT) she wasn’t beating down the doors of mirrormirror to get her hands on one of our Rose Trimmed Shower Caps.

 

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Separated At Birth – Anne Hathaway Oscars 2011

 

 

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                            Look at ME                                                                                              No, look at ME

 

I suspect this divides almost entirely along country lines. The Americans I was watching with and those on the forums and blogs I read seem to be saying, “Oh, but she’s ADORABLE, and she tried SO hard’.  While all the Brits were going ‘pass the sick bag’.

This is why I will never be American.  Also if the entirely best thing about your act are the costume changes then you’ know you’re in trouble.

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