30 December 2012

Kicking off ma boots. And a new jewellery find.

Meet Bob: my Chloe-tastic boots from schuh. They're sold out now but you can get dead similar ones in the sale here. I got them earlier this year and, how they haven't made the blog I've no idea as I wear them ALL the time! They've been all over this year - to Bestival, to see Blur, to work many times, up and down from London and, er, Colchester. Next year they can look forward to getting out and about all over again.

Here's me looking awfully prim by my standards:

Boots: schuh, Dress: Primark, Jumper: ASOS, Necklace: Suzywan Deluxe
One reason I love the boots so much is that, although they're a designer rip off (Chloe's Susanna), they don't feel dead flash in the pan. Chloe have had the boots out for ages and just keep re-releasing them. They're still £850 on Net-a-Porter! So I reckon I'll be wearing these guys for a loooong time! Another reason is that they are SO comfy. As you may know, I have a penchant for, er, interesting shoes that aren't always the most comfy so it's nice to love a pair that are!

This particular day, I decided to go a wee bit prim and buttoned up. Well, it's nice to be smartish sometimes, innit?

To keep the primness 'me' I added this necklace that I got from Suzywan Deluxe, - a French/Swedish label. I'd got a 20% discount from Effet Noemie and UK delivery was free, which is awesome given that they're in France. Being the crapass that I am, the picture hasn't quite caught the necklace right but it's a cosmic style backing with glitter and mirror perspex triangles attached. Being a lover of a bit of fancy perspex, this is right up my street! The shop is closed just now but I'll be checking it out again when it's back up!

I hope you all have super exciting New Year plans (apart from Vix who's had New Year already). We're having a house party (so the poor Christmas tree is down already in preparation) and I cannae wait. Once you've got past the bit where you do nothing but answer the buzzer and get first drinks for folk, it's great crack! Have a great one, whatever you're up to!

28 December 2012

I'm such a dude in my Nike Air Max

How's your "festive period" going? I hope those of you who are working are having nice work days. To those on hols - yay! I hope you're having fun! My main plans are to get to the gym a bit to combat festive munching and to just chill out before 2013 kicks in, in earnest.

Today I share with you: trainers. Non gym trainers. Cause you don't wanna see my manky gym kicks. Actually, my gym trainers are rather nice too but, still, no-one needs to see them. Yup, I know I hit you up with some Nike I'd got at work a wee while back. Since then, I have acquired some more. These I got for my birthday from Mr Scribbler.

Look, they have leopard print on them! If a girl's gonna embrace a trainer, then one with leopard print is definitely the way to go. And look at the super bright neon red lining! Plus, let'sw be honest, Nike Air Max are just cool, alright?

I wore  them to work a few weeks ago on 6 music's 'Wear Your Old Band T-shirt to Work' day. I think I was rocking a flithy cold that day too though, if I remember rightly, hence the jumper over face look:

An improvement, some might say. Truthfully, this isn't an 'old' band t-shirt - I got it when I saw Blur earlier this year. All my old band t-shirts either got worn out or I moved on from them. There's virtually no chance these days that you'd see me in a Symposium, Travis, Ash or Ocean Colour Scene tee. And I'm a hater when it comes to the fake metal t-shirts you get in Topshop and whatnot. One of my good buddies used to wear a low cut Guns 'n' Roses t-shirt but couldn't name a single one of their songs (love you Ian!). Each to their own, but it's not for me. So I wore my new-ish Blur t-shirt for the day. Travelling from Edinburgh to Wolves, To Plymouth, back to Edinburgh then down and back from London a few days later tells you I'm a real fan. Or, some might say, mad. I'm off to see them in Barcelona next year. Woohoo!

For popping up town later that day, I added my new headphones that the 3 mobile phone folk sent me (thank you!) to use with my iPhone. They doubled up nicely as ear warmers too, which was acers cause it was bloody freezing back then! And they kept the sound in way better than the in ear jobbies I usually use. Nothing for it now but to have a wee dance!

26 December 2012

It's Christmas!

I can never decide if posts with Christmas (or Birthday) presents in them are crude but, in the absence of strong feeling either way, I decided to share some of mine. As well as my Christmas day outfit. My ideal Christmas Day would be spent in pyjamas. When I was a kid, I was never fussed for getting dressed at Christmas and did so begrudgingly. Now that I am old and spend Christmas visiting family and whatnot, pyjamas won't cut it. Yup, I am firmly in the 'pyjamas should only be worn in the house' camp. The only excusable exception to this are:
  • Nipping to the corner shop for milk (etc) and, even then you should add trainers and a sufficiently outdoor appropriate hoodie or similar.
  • Unexpectedly having to pick someone up from somewhere in the car - see rule above for making said pyjama wearing acceptable.
  • Emergency shit like fire alarms or ambulance travel.
  • Being aged 5 or under - embrace it small ones!
Now, my Christmas day wear needs to be:
  • Comfortable with plenty room for a food baby.
  • Still look 'me'
  • Have some sparkle. Well, it is Christmas after all.
Here's what I went with:

Dress: vintage from Godiva in Edinburgh, Cardi: Primark, Belt: Accessorize, Glitter ankle boots: schuh, necklace: Plastique.
How weird does my nose look? It looks like I've had an odd extension to it. I haven't. 

This outfit basically ticks all the Christmas boxes for me: the dress is pretty but also comfy (elasticated waist) and demure enough for a day with in-laws and the belt's a bit loose so plenty room for Chrimbo munching. Those and the cardi are lurex threaded so there's your sparkle. And, there's extra sparkle in the glittery boots. Which also have a heel that's low enough for any Christmas Day walks that get chucked in. My gorgeous mirrored Plastique necklace adds a final statement. What did you wear? If you say pyjamas, I'll be sick with jealousy!

And so to the potentially tasteless gift flashing. I got some lovely gift from some awesome people, including gift cards (NEVER impersonal  - don't believe anyone who says otherwise!), rum, Grasmere gingerbread, nice smellies, useful notecards and note books and, (casual as you like), a pair of Charlotte Olympia Priscilla in glitter. Oh my days. I can't WAIT to wear them. Mind you, I did wear them about the house while I tidied up Christmas stuff last night...

I hope you all had an ace Christmas! Here's to a happy New Year next...

25 December 2012

Baking apple cake...

Gawd help everyone. I've been at the baking again. A couple of weeks ago, I went for scones. Blueberry and white chocolate chip. Just a basic scone recipe with fresh blueberries and white choc chips added instead of raisins. Mainly simple...

But for the fact that the blueberries explode a bit during cooking. I imagine them swelling up a bit like Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:

This is what they looked like when they came out the oven. Carnage. But they pulled apart nicely and tasted great. Winner!

And so, following that success, I decide to venture back into the world of cake again. I mean, I've made my Christmas cake now (I'm writing this on the 23rd and it isn't decorated so I'm not showing it yet. Plus, it just looks like a big white blob anyway. It was made with loving care and much ginger gin liqueur though and will taste great) but this is a casual Sunday night "fuck, I need snacks for Christmas eve tomorrow at work and the weather was too shit to go out today and get anything" cake. The best kind by anyone's reckoning.

Being the top blogger that I am, I of course forgot to take pictures of any of the process. Here's what I got for you:

The basic loaf recipe came from the classic Be-Ro book. My mum had a Be-Ro book when I was wee and a few years ago she gave me my own. As ever though, I'm only vaguely working with the recipe. Partly because I never actually have all the ingredients that one might require, I usually have something else I want to add AND I have some misguided desire to try to be 'original' (in high school it was hippy skirts and fimo beads. Now it's fucking with cake recipes). So, today I had apples to use. This is what it looked like once I'd made the mix and taken it all out of the bowl:

But, prior to that, I stuck to the flour, butter/margarine and sugar bit of the recipe. So far so good. I flung some raisins in for good measure. And a crushed Wispa. Then I peeled and grated about 8 smallish apples. Apples grate so easily! I read something saying that one should squeeze out the apple juice and put apples in a cake as drained as possible. That sounded wasteful to me. I added some brown sugar to the grated apples and mixed them into the flour part, juiciness and all and, whadya know? I didn't need any milk cause the apples added enough moosh on their own! Yas! Little Scribbler baking VICTORY! And look:

Yeah it's a bit sunken but it looks pretty golden. As well you'll know from my previous baking exploits, one should always bake with a glass of wine. I won mine in the work Christmas raffle last week - score! It even tastes alright. I'm a big fan of alright tasting free wine. And, in even better news, the cake tastes good too! Yay! And, on account of all the bloody apples in it, I reckon it's verging on healthy. I'd wager, there's at least half of one of your 5-a-day in there. Gawd, I'm good.

I hope you're all having a very eff-ing Merry Christmas!

23 December 2012

Sunday shoe porn: somebody stop me!

This week, the shoe porn is all mine. Even by Llara standards, I've gone a bit shoe crazy in the last month or so. I've been too busy to blog them as they came into my life so I thought I'd round them up today. Ah, today. I'd describe what I've been up to today as "hunkering down". The forecasted "storm force" winds and driving rain landed in Edinburgh and it's been every bit as rough as predicted. So I cancelled thoughts of leaving the house and battened down the hatches. Quite literally in some areas - I have tissue paper stuffed around a point where a wire comes in through our window to hold back the leakage that happens when the rain pours!

And, so to the shoes. Last week, I showcased my beautiful Nicholas Kirkwood shoes. This week, all 6 pairs (yes, that does mean I've bought at least 7 pairs of shoes in the last month-ish. Some would be a bit disgusted by that. To them I say "bite me") combined cost less than that one pair so we're truly at the other end of the spectrum. And to really kick things off super bargain style, I picked up these shoes along with my grocery shop a few weeks ago at Asda.

I've always suspected that I was somewhat lacking on the snakeskin shoe front. That said, snakeskin shoes can often look really quite skankalicious and it's hard to find a nice pair that don't put me in mind of buckets of fake tan, too-tight shiny dresses and tranny style lip liner. However, the sweet almond shaped toe and mid heel on this pair struck just the right note for me: demure rather than manure, if you will. So in they went to my trolley. Want to know the best bit? They were £2 in the sale. That's a quid per shoe. 20p each per toe coverage. Insane. I can't walk away from a bargain that hefty. Powerless. So now they're mine.

Next up are these H&M stilettos. I've really gotten back into my stilettos again lately (and this time around, I will NOT sell them all on eBay! I will remember that fashion is cyclical and so is my taste and keep them for the future) and, once again had a sneaking suspicion. Which was that I likely needed a nice basic multicoloured glitter pair in my arsenal. So, imagine my joy when I stumbled across this twinkly pair for a tenner in the H&M sale. Woop! And I had a gift card - so, in fash-math terms, that means FREE.

Next up, we have the most expensive purchase. My insane, sort-of-wedge-but-heel-less neon shatter boots from American site Nasty Gal. I saw a blogger wearing them some time ago. I can't remember where sadly. I'm sure I made some of sort of noise along the lines of "gnuarghhhhIHaveToHaveThem" when I first clapped eyes on them. Sadly, said blogger hadn't linked to them and could I find them anywhere? Could I buggery. But sometimes fortune smiles upon us. One of my colleagues was about to buy some shocking pink spiky efforts from Nasty Gal and asked if anyone else wanted to order anything and split the postage. Oh, and their shoes all had 25% off too. Donkey. Stick. Carrot. Other figures of speech that imply the ease with which I was reeled in. So, off I went, browsey, browse when: what should I stumble upon? Only the EPIC neon heel-less shoe boots that I'd seen on the blogger! I couldn't bloody believe it. And so, I was IN on the Nasty Gal spree! And on the off-chance that they're just SO your bag too, you can get them here. They don't call Little Scribbler helpful for nothing...

And so back to British shores. These shoes are from New Look. I'd admired them a few times but hadn't actually got as far as even trying them on. A plain black peep toe upper isn't really me (see the shoes above) but the watercolour-esque platform and heel caught me and I LOVE the shape of the heel - quite slim from the back but really wide from the side. It's got such a grace to its chunkiness which made me swoon every time I saw them. And, earlier this week I was in a New Look and they were down to £11 in the sale so it was rude not to at least try them. And they fit perfectly and looked awesome on. Done deal.

Next up, good old Topshop. Their shoes, by high street standards always feel at the upper end of the cost scale. That said, often they have really original stuff and you can see why they're pricier. I'd been eyeing up these stilettos for a good while but kept telling myself I didn't need them. I also kept not having £65 going spare so, really the conundrum "to buy or not to buy" was squashed right there. BUT (and spy a theme emerging here), they went in the SALE. Yay for sales! I was in my local store a few weeks ago and they'd gone down to £30. And then the ever so nice dude in the shop inexplicably gave me student discount too. I must have a studenty air about me. So I bagged them for £26, which I am most pleased about. The leather's so soft and glitter's so sparkly in such an understated way: it'll look a bit nothing-y, then the light hits and it twinkles like the night sky. Look at it twinkling away down there:

Lastly - yes, you're nearly at the end of this rambling and slightly obsessive collection of what now appear to be short stories. I thought the whole thing was going to be one short story. But no. I chattered on, as is my wont. Still, if you've made it this far, maybe you're enjoying the ramblings. And maybe, just maybe, you'll enjoy these shoes. I first clapped eyes on them in plain black in Urban Outfitters down in London. I tried them on but told myself to behave and that I didn't need spiked lace up creeper/flatform soled ankle boots. And I probably don't. But, I was online a week or so back and Urban Outfitters were doing 50% off their sale. Basically it was "please buy our dregs before the real winter sale starts". So it seemed rude not to take a look. Urban Outfitters' sale can be a magical thing. I got my neon pink Cambridge satchel from them last year for about £40 (they were still selling in Harvey Nichols for over £100 at the time) and one of my favourite pairs of ankle boots came from there for £20, down from £220. Yes you read that correctly - £20, down from £220. Insane. This time, I got a bra, a bumbag (no really. And, yes it will be up here at some point) and a hip flask. And these! £10, down from £55. That's 81.81% recurring, off, fash-mathletes! And they have leopard print on them! What in life is not improved with a splash of leopardy goodness? And, on that note, feel free to go forth and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Have a fabulous Chrimbo when it arrives!

16 December 2012

Sunday Shoe Porn: Nicholas Kirkwood

You know what they say: a Sunday without shoe porn is a Sunday half lived. And all the better when the shoe porn belongs to meeeeeeeeee!

If you've been with me here for any length of time - or even for a very short time - you might have got that I'm a shoe kind of girl. Bags? I can take or leave them. Clothes? Love them but I'm not inclined to spend loads and loads on them. Cars? Couldn't give a crap. But shoes - I love them. I'm happy with cheapo Primark ones or mid range high street ones. But I also have a weakness for designer ones. And a nice lust list of designers whose shoes I should very much like to own a pair of. One such designer is Nicholas Kirkwood. His shoes just look structurally interesting, I love a disjointed platform and I appreciate the effort, intricacy and uniqueness of the upper detail of his shoes too.

Not being the sort of chick with cash to fling about, I have to be choosy and thrifty with my designer shoe purchases. Sale time on the likes of Net-a-Porter, My Wardrobe and Coggles is ripe for me (I'm just about pissing myself in anticipation of this year's sales, all the while trying to remember that I'm supposed to be saving for holidays next year.).  And, year round, The Outnet is a winner. So, when I got their email saying Nicholas Kirkwood had landed online, it didn't take me long to click through for a look.

And look what I found!

Aren't they gorgeous!? My little baby Kirkwoods! I was grabbed initially by how 'Kirkwood' they looked. I think, if you love a designer's aesthetic and may only ever get the chance to invest in one piece from them, you should consider it being something signature. If it's a practical piece too, that helps. But, above all, it needs to be something you love! I've made expensive mistakes snapping up shoes I didn't love *hangs head in shame* and regretted it. But I loooooooove these. And the platform, strappy upper, cute bow and edgy styling are SO on the Kirkwood money!

Look! They're so sparkly! So glittery! So twinkly!

Definitely worth another picture...

13 December 2012

Night at the Museum

Actually it was a day but it was dark when we left so it looked like night. Mr Scribbler and I have been meaning to go visit the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh since it re-opened (it was closed for a couple of years to be totally gutted out inside and re-opened earlier this year or possibly even last year!) ages ago. We had a day off last week (well, I had the full week off cause it was my birfday - and it was last week when I started this post but it's now about a month ago. For shame!) and decided to finally get round to it! To give you an idea of the size of the place, we spent 3 1/2-4hrs there and didn't even get all the way round the ground floor. It's jam packed and huge. Here are some of my highlights...

Alpha bot finds letters on randomly placed blocks and spells your name. It's like a miracle occurring before your very eyes. Or, y'know, computer programming. Either way, it's hard to find stuff that has 'Llara' on it so I was most happy.
Here's me having an audience with Buddha. One of the cool things about the museum is that, when you're in the main atrium, they have lots of different displays on the walls so you get a wee taster before delving in. Plus it looks good too! Boots: schuh, Bag: Cambridge Satchel.
Grr! Daddy, daddy, can I have a pet leopard? I'll look after it.Oh, PLEASE!
The place is epicly beautiful. Look at all the light!
Look - you can weigh yourself and see what you weigh the same as, animal kingdom wise! Mr S is the same as something porpoisey. And there's me, Llara, with my name-sake the Llama. We nipped out for a late Pizza Express lunch cause they sent me an "it's your birthday - come see us for some free booze" and they SUCKED me in with it.
The rocks, the rocks! I bloody love the rocks. They're so pretty and so interesting. A bit like me! Or a DNA helix. Mr S was impressed by Jackie Stewart's car - I just wanted my picture taken inside a space suit. Well, I am the younger of us...

11 December 2012

Yes, I AM wearing my Camilla Skovgaard shoes

But, dear lordy, are they a bugger to walk in?! Yes, they are. The slim heel just does a weird catchy thing on the ground with every step I take so they make a strange noise and I have to really concentrate when I walk. Which, given that I'm a bit clumsy anyway and prone to the odd fall, is probably no bad thing.

Shoes: Camilla Skovgaard @ the Outnet, dress: H&M, Jumper: Primark, Necklace: Wolf and Moon.
The good thing about the shoes - nay, the great thing - is that they look epic. Look at that fearsome jagged sole! I'm probably doing an amazing ass workout every time I get up as I clench in my attempts not to fall too so there's an added bonus. And, as above, I can totally stand on one leg in them. Like a master. Look at me - just hanging out, chilling on one leg. Casual.

Please, be kind and ignore the slight Nora Batty-ness starting to creep in at the toe. Though show me a woman who doesn't spend half the day hiking her tights back up to where they belong and I'll...well, I'll shake her hand and demand to know where her gravity defying tights are from. Or if she's just got pants on over them like many of my pals do. I'm just a tights howker. You?

28 November 2012

Shoe crush: Sophia Webster

I got an email a wee while ago from Net-a-Porter (I think it's important to dream) with this shoe on it:


Safe to say my eye was well and truly caught. It looks a bit like something a kid might make as part of a school project (and I should know cause at my work we have a school design project every year) but in a really good way! They're the work of designer Sophia Webster, a former assistant of shoe design king Nicholas Kirkwood. I can definitely see the odd hint of a Kirkwood aesthetic in some of her styles - the across the foot detailing and the slightly disjointed platforms - but, that aside, these are some of the most exciting shoes I've seen in ages!
That first email was a bit of a 'coming soon' job. Today I got the news that the collection had landed! I actually checked out Yayoi, the beaded bad boy, and Lana, with her perspex encased sequins, in Harvey Nichols last week. Sometimes I go in there just to have a right good perv over the expensive shoes. I'll have a wee look and a touch and, if they're super soft, I might even smell them too. What?! Don't even try telling me that's not normal. Anyway, regardless of what you make of my habits, the shoes were complete visual treats in real life too.
If I was given the opportunity to have a pair of her shoes (and I fear I may be waiting a while), I think I'd go for Yayoi - which was inspired by artist Yayoi Kusama's graphic dot paintings (see Louis Vuitton's recent collab too) - just for the childish joyousness of them. Otherwise, I reckon I'd go Karlie. The shape's dead practical (classic peep court) but the rest is anything but. I love the combo of the ice cream zig-zag upper with monochrome striped sole and colour block neon pop heel. They're just awesome. I love them. Can I have both?

Riko, for me, is defintiely the most Kirkwood of the lot. The cage effect upper with slim heel and tie details screams it but she's definitely added her own twist. I know we're not all likely to be rushing out to buy designer shoes but, if I'm gonna do it, ideally I want something that's really unique and exciting. And Sophoa Webster shoes sure as hell are that!

They're all on Net-a-Porter now.

18 November 2012

I baked again. It's a goodie.

I baked again. If you like the mystery of not knowing whether your goods will in fact ever bake and you enjoy poking at a goopy oven confection for hours, you're gonna love this. And more's the better if, once you finally give up on cooking, if you like continuing to poke at said goods, wondering if they'll ever be solid enough to cut up and if they'll taste any good. *SPOILER ALERT*!!!! The goods in this story do end up tasting not bad at all...

It all starts here:

Flour with mixed spices and a pinch of salt / lemon curd / sugar / eggs / white chocolate / meringue
I should probably have said - I was making lemon meringue blondies (I'm told white brownies are called blondies. I like to think of them as the MJ of the brownie world). There wasn't a recipe. It was just guess work. Hence the didn't-want-to-bake gloop.

Melt white chocolate / Stir in lemon curd / Stir in sugar
I used lemon curd in lieu of butter. What can I say? I'm an experimenter. I don't think it worked as such. Maybe if I used the lemon cheese (even the name of that gives me the boak) next time, it might work better. It just sounds more buttery and I don't think my lemon curd was buttery enough.

White wine. Nice New Zealand Sauv Blanc.
So, I'm guessing you're wondering: "where does white wine fit in?". Well, remember how I said that the lemon curd wasn't buttery enough. Well, it meant that the mixture was a wee bit lacking in lubrication. So, I decided to lubricate myself with a nice big cold glass of wine! WWKFD*? As if I'd waste good wine in baking! Who do you think I am?

Beat in the eggs /Add some vanilla essence. 
And the mixture is mooshy again. Lubed. Phew!

Pour half the mixture on a greased, lines pan / add broken up meringue
Yay! Hands up who LOVES it when the shit they're baking looks like a pan of SICK. Fill up the rest of the pan with the remaining mix. Watch as all the meringue floats to the top. You can almost hear the tiny pieces laughing out loud as if to say "We're not going to be restrained under this gloopy crap, bitch!". Bake for about a week** at about 170c. Poke occasionally. Poke it cause you need to keep drowning the damn meringue so it doesn't burn. Jaysus!

It looks totally fucking edible! Even under clingfilm.
So, there it is. This is mainly the edges of the, er, dish. The middle was still so squishy that I had to just stick it in a tub in the fridge. I came back to it later once it had gone hard and sticky and ate it with a fork. I'm a class act. Plus, how Cath Kidston is my dish? That's right, I can be a domestic goddess when it comes to presentation. Fnar.

*What Would Keith Floyd Do?
**obviously this is a wild exaggeration and if you bake for a week and burn your house down I shall a) not be held responsible and b) not worry about being held responsible as you'd clearly be far too stupid to do anything about pursuing me anyway.