Its the small (and pretty) things…

Hi, my name is Gussie and I am an online shopping addict.

SHOPPING

Although this was not designed to be a fashion blog, I find myself window shopping every. single. day. – constantly, I am ‘out of pocket’- the main reason being that I have bought so many items with pockets in that I don’t even know which pocket I am out of anymore.

So it hit me today, during my routine online trawl, that you can not fully understand me until you understand my weakness.

Much like a magpie (ew) I am drawn to shiny things. Bright colours, bold patterns and animal prints excite me and I have so much fun accessorising with these. I think that they have the power to make an outfit and the easiest way to incorporate them is through

BAGS AND SHOES

-great things come in small packages (size 4 preferably).

So here are a few fun combos that I found today that needed to be shared:

LEOPARD

Leopard print lovin’. Clutch- Etsy, Shoes- Carvela

CANT

Couldn’t decide which colour clutch I preferred. The bow shoes are a dream! Clutches- Francesca’s, Shoes- Carvela

PEACH PUMP

Peachy cute combo. Clutch- Charlotte Olympia, Shoes- & Other Stories

NEW LOOK

Summer vibes. Clutch- Asos, Shoes, New Look

MADDEN

Bright n Bubbly. Yellow Clutch- Lookbook, Shoes- Steve Madden, Pink Clutch- & Other Stories

SNAKE

Snakeskin Stylin’. Heels- Topshop, Clutch- American Apparel, Pumps- Zara

BAGS

Eye Catchers. Clutch 1- Kurt Geiger, Clutch 2- Etsy, Clutch 3- Lulu Guinness

If all of the above could kindly make their way to my wardrobe, that’d be fab.

Call me Nigella

…but maybe not too regularly, I wouldn’t want to be charged.

Just a short and perhaps hypocritical post today as I am going to tell you how to make the most basic (yet yummiest) bruschetta.

-short because it is so easy, hypocritical because, as my nearest and dearest will confirm, I am no chef.

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The arrangement of a surprise 21st brunch, with the instruction of bringing a dish each, provided me with an opportunity to make something new and brunch-worthy (two points of criteria that my normal speciality, a carefully and scrupulously ordered Dominos pizza, apparently does not meet).

Whether bruschetta is actually a legitimate brunch dish, I agree, is debatable. But in my opinion, brunch has the same set of rules as a holiday breakfast buffet – anything goes.

SO, here it is. My first ever attempt at instructing people how to ‘cook’:

Homemade Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Baby Bruschettas

 Ingredients:

  • a french baguette
  • olive oil
  • tomatoes
  • mozzarella
  • basil leaves
  • parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper

1. Cut your baguette into thin slices

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2.  Pour some olive into a bowl and  coat both sides of your baguette slices – enough to make them deliciously crispy, not enough to make them soggy (please excuse the dressing gown…)

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3. Season each individual slice with a generous amount of salt and pepper to get the greatest flavour. Then, grate some parmesan cheese onto the top side, again for added crispiness!

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4. Cook in the oven at 180 degrees until they are golden! Mine were in for about 12 minutes, but I think its a judgement call

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5. Cut up whatever toppings you want! I sliced mozzarella, diced tomatoes (leaving the seeds out so that they didn’t make the bread soggy) and cut up some basil leaves for a little extra flavour!

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I am very happy to say that my baby bruschettas (and chocolate covered strawberries- any opportunity) held their own on this amazing spread…

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And more importantly, the birthday girl was extremely surprised and had a lovely day opening presents and getting old in the sunshine!

Now, just the party to look forward to on Saturday night… wish us luck.

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HAPPY 21ST GABS!!

Boot(y) Camp

As I sit here, unable to walk, I reflect upon yesterday’s new experience: Boot Camp.

boottyy.

IMG_4914In September, one of my best friends is climbing Kilimanjaro. To raise money for her chosen charity, Practical Action, Gabs decided to organise a charity boot camp (or ‘booty camp’ as I prefer to call it- its just cuter and honestly, its the only part of me that doesn’t hurt, which brings me some happiness).

I can’t say that I was thrilled at the prospect.

Don’t get me wrong, as a dancer, I love being active and fit. However, I prefer to do so in a way where I don’t actually realise that I am exercising-  the lesser-known ‘indirectercise’.

So, when I dance, I’m focused on the music and performance. When I swim, I can pretend I’m on an exotic beach somewhere hot and fabulous. And during those long, romantic walks that I take, generally in the direction of the kitchen, I am focused on the treat that I get at the end.

Organised exercise for me, however, tends to end like this:

But as it was for such an amazing cause, I said yes.

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(I’m not entirely sure what we’re doing here, but I am positive that it hurt)

Much to my amazement, I really enjoyed it! Our friend and qualified personal trainer, Domi Saffrin, took the 2 hour session. I think we all arrived with the impression that she would take it easy on us. Oh, how wrong we were.

We circuited, we drilled and we bunny hopped (?!) our bodies into total (yet satisfying) exhaustion.

A note to all aspiring personal trainers: when you’re able to keep a group of relax-orientated, 21 year old girls smiling, whilst working out in the boiling sun, as opposed to reclining on sun loungers with a glass (pitcher) of Pimms each, you’re doing a bloody good job!                                                                                                                                             

foodSo, following a delicious lunch, I was able to tick boot(y) camp off of my never-ending list of things to do. Whats more, I even intend to do more in the future…even if only to see my friends unbecoming attempts at ‘squat jumping’ once more.

Here’s to organised exercise! 

To have a look at Gaby’s Fundraising page, find out more about the charity Practical Action and to donate to this amazing cause, follow this link:

http://m.virginmoneygiving.com/mt/uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action?userUrl=GabriellaPistol&faId=388580&isTeam=false

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The Graduate

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Perhaps the name of this blog is slightly deceiving. Yesterday, at the University of Birmingham, I did not find a Mrs Robinson and fall simultaneously in love with her and her daughter. But I did graduate.

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Ok again, potentially deceiving. My friend gave me back a ring that I had misplaced a couple of weeks ago. Why this exchange earned copious messages of excited congratulations is beyond me…

Even despite the disappointing lack of marriage proposals that I received, yesterday still turned out to be an amazing day.

gus and dad

I won’t give you a play by play of the actual ceremony, I couldn’t be so cruel. Instead, I’ll just give you a couple of my personal highlights:

1. The Vice-Chancellor’s pronunciation of my nameUnderstandably, if I saw the name ‘Augusta Melia’ for the first time in a room filled with hundreds of people (and it weren’t, of course, my name) I would probably panic. I’ve had my fair share of mispronunciations, but nothing like this.  It was such a fail that it was almost a success.

2. I didn’t fall down the stairs. Yes, I lost all grace and dignity and caused traffic in the otherwise smooth conveyor belt of graduates during the collection of my actual degree, when I failed to understand that the past three years amounted to more than a handshake from someone in an elaborate velvet hat. But I didn’t fall down the stairs.

3. I got to do this:

LYLE

(sorry Lyle)

And finally, I got to graduate with some of my best friends, who I’ve shared my funnest, funniest and most embarrassing times at Birmingham with – cheesy, but true.

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So what exactly am I saying yes to by graduating? Life? Adulthood? Acceptance that there is more to life than Birmingham?!?! I’m not entirely sure. It’s pretty exciting though.