Sunday, 21 April 2013

Record Store Day 2013

Yesterday was Record Store Day. RSD started back in 2007 when up to 700 independent record stores in the US came together to celebrate what they were - still open. It's no hidden fact that the success of independent music shops has been declining rapidly, probably due to digital stores like iTunes, streaming channels like Spotify and illegal downloading. The UKs most treasured music store, HMV, was almost killed off this year but the stubbornness of the music lovers and some very good accountants have helped HMV pull through, keeping a music presence in most of our high streets.

The UK got involved in RSD in 2008, making this year the 6th anniversary and our first Record Store Day. All around the country, record stores opened their doors to collectors and rookies alike to offer limited edition releases which wouldn't be available ever again.

Yesterday, Ash and I left home early and got in the small queue outside our local store, Raves from the Grave in Frome, at 7.15am. There were already 8 or 9 others waiting, some who'd arrived at about 6am. Doors opened at 9am so we spent the next couple of hours talking to the other music supporters in the queue about what they were after, sipping on tea, munching on bacon rolls which the cafe next door brought out for us and feeling anxious about getting our paws on the one release we were really after - Funeral for a Friend's 10th Anniversary edition of Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation, on white vinyl, limited to 1000 copies.

At 9am, the queue was up to around 40 people and we piled in to the store, around a small display rammed with RSD releases. I wasn't quick enough and was stuck at the back, but Ash managed to get in and within minutes picked up Notorious BIG's Ready to Die LP and the Funeral for a Friend release.  I hovered around the 7" display and a friend of ours infront passed me Frank Turner's Recovery release. Ash went in to stealth mode, and snuck around to the other side of the display and picked up Biffy Clyro's Modern Magic Formula/City of Dreadful Night on beautiful black and clear splatter vinyl. We were sorted. We spent almost £80 on those four records - which is a lot of money considering we own the albums on CD already, but there's something so enchanting about vinyl, placing down the needle and watching it play.

Funeral for a Friend - Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation

Frank Turner - Recovery & Biffy Clyro - Modern Magic Formula/City of Dreadful Night

Ash and I have been bickering since we bought our records home about opening them and playing them. I think that records are bought to be played, not stored. Ash sees them as an investment and even catalogues what we've bought, where we bought them and how much we paid. I see his point and he sees mine, so at the moment they remain sealed until we can agree... what do you think?

It was great to be a part of Record Store Day 2013, and we'll continue to support our local music stores and growing our record collection in the coming year.

PS: If you get time, read this article about how Under 25s are helping the record industry grow again.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Lilac Nails

Just a quick one to show you my nails this week!

Inspired by Kaylah and her expert use of nail stickers, I painted all my nails with 2 coats of Models Own Lilac Dream and allowed them to dry completely. It was a good 3 hours before I did the next stage. Then I chose my nail stickers and stuck them on the back of my hand for a few minutes to take away some of the stickiness. To apply, I pressed them down firmly on my nails, making sure none of the edges were sticking up so none of the polish seeps through. I then painted Models Own Utopia over the nail stickers, and peeled them off slowly to reveal Lilac Dream underneath. I gave them half an hour to dry and then used a top coat.
Et voila! Easy and effective.

Supplies used:

Models Own Lilac Dream
Models Own Utopia
Nail stickers (shape 5)

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Lately I've Been

Enjoying music, in every way shape and form. Record shopping, seeing Gaslight Anthem.
Recieving chocolate...
 and melting it up for Rice Krispie Rocky Road.
Wearing mint, coral and monochrome. Ticking all the spring boxes.

Working hard at the gym ready to have my stats done for the first time in 2 years.
Mixing up cocktails, like this raspberry mojito.
Loving my New Look sale bargains. Receiving lovely packages.
Arranging springtime flowers.

Reading 'Silver Linings Playbook.' Saving even harder for the holiday we just booked.
Loving the pretty city.
Meeting a Wurzel drinking cider.
 Enjoying a day in the sun watching Bath Rugby.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Early Spring Snapshots

Spring has sprung. And it lasted two days! We've gone from a glorious Easter weekend to snow flurries again in Somerset. No denying - I LOVE snow, especially snow days off work, but I'm getting a little fidgety with this weather.

The other weekend I went to see my Grandparents on their farm. I never appreciated the beauty of the land they live on until recently - look at those views over the Mendips! When I was younger, I used to explore all the fields with our dog and my sister, and now we're visiting the farm with my niece. It's lovely, but it also reminds me how quickly time goes. (Says she who's only just turned 22..) Not that long ago, Ash and I walked down to the field just behind the milk shed to be confronted with an unhappy Billy bull. We didn't stick around there long.

The sun was out but the wind was cold. We drank tea, ate hot cross buns and wandered around the garden. My niece, looking super cool in leopard print, stripes and sequins, loves running around after the dog or watching the chickens.

It's very inspiring to me that my Grandparents are in their 70s and still farming.

The reason we went to the farm that day wasn't just to drink tea and wander around in the cold sun. Our elderly neighbour was recently taken in to a nursing home, leaving her adopted cat, Kizzy, alone at home. Our neighbours family did drop in every day to feed her, but my parents could see it was becoming a burden for them, and Kizzy got lonely, meowing at anyone walking past. Mum offered to take Kizzy to the farm to live there with my Grandparents. Nana can look after any animal - in my lifetime I've seen cows being born, I've hatched a duck when it couldn't break itself out of it's shell, and I've seen so many other creatures there. We even hatched a neglected nest of pheasants and released them on the farm. We've found wounded ducks and taken them there. They are our own personal animal sanctuary.

Kizzy was a bit stressed out at first. She hated being in the cage but needed to get used to her surrounding for a few hours before they let her explore the farmhouse, room by room. 2 weeks later, she's sleeping in the airing cupboard, napping in the sun outside and cuddling up with the other kittys on the farm (and no doubt, stalking the chicks as well.)

Monday, 1 April 2013

Easter Leftovers : Rice Krispie Rocky Road

This morning I tweeted one of our nations favourite chefs, Nigella Lawson, asking for recipe ideas to help me use up of my Easter eggs. She replied "use up?" and since then my Twitter mentions have been full of abusive tweets telling me to 'get over myself and just eat them' etc etc... Well, Twitter, no I will not just eat them. Nigella's actually deleted her reply now, possibly because she realised everyone is just a massive meany on Twitter and she tried to make me feel stupid. Heh.

I don't get a lot of joy out of shovelling chocolate. I'd much prefer to eat crisps, nuts, peanuts, more crisps... I prefer savoury to chocolate and always have.  I knew that if I didn't find a way to use them up today, they'd be hanging around for weeks until eventually they'd be thrown out. I wanted to think of something I could make really easily as I wasn't really in the mood for 'proper' baking. In the end I decided to mix up a favourite Christmas recipe and make some rocky road.

You will need;
300g chocolate - I used 2 Cadbury's eggs and a Lindt bunny.
200g rice krispies
50g mini marshmallows
40g golden syrup
Coloured chocolate sweets for decoration

Loosely line a baking tray or a couple of smaller tins or even lunch boxes with greaseproof paper.
Melt down all your chocolate. You can do this in the microwave, over a bowl of hot water on the hob, or just very gently in a saucepan. I did it in a saucepan and it went a bit stiff, so I added a slosh of milk to loosen it up.
Next up, stir in the golden syrup to thicken it and make it sticky. Turn the heat down and allow it to cool for a couple of minutes.
Stir in the krispies, marshmallows and chocolate sweets, making sure everything is coated in chocolate goo.
Spoon the mixture into your trays/tins and spread evenly. Sprinkle a few more of the coloured sweets on the top. Allow it to cool completely at room temperature, and then put in the fridge to set which will take about an hour.
When it's done, lift out the rocky road, peel off the greaseproof paper and cut up into bite size pieces.

I've already got mine in a lunchbox back in the fridge ready to take to the office in the morning. It's meant that I've not got any chocolate lying around the house begging to be eaten and my colleagues will be very happy to see me tomorrow!

Want to mix up the recipe a bit? You could use white chocolate, add crushed mini eggs, even use mashed up digestive biscuits instead of rice krispies. The possibilities are endless :)

Hope you've all had a happy Easter. Rosie x