Tuesday 25 December 2012

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Ta-dah! Tuesday - Last one before Christmas!

Hello, and welcome to another Ta-dah! Tuesday. Sorry I've been a little sketchy with this recently, you'd think being deprived of my online life would have me making more things wouldn't you? Oddly, even though it's my own link-up, I do sometimes start to feel like it's double maths next and I haven't done my homework if I've got nothing interesting to share!

Anyway, this will be the last one before the 2013 - given that next Tuesday is Christmas, and we'll all be in some kind of food coma/drunken stupor - so please please get linking up, old posts are fine as I've missed quite a bit, and I'd particularly like to see anything festive you've been creating. [Hmm, the Tuesday after is  New Year's Day, so perhaps we should reconvene on January 8th].

I've finally made my wreath for outside the house - it would have been on the door but it weighs several pounds and I couldn't figure out how to attach it short of hanging it from the knocker. Also it seemed a little unfair on the postman to have to navigate past all the unruly prickly bits in order to bang on the door. Last year I had one made of willow and fake berries - very pretty but with an unfortunate side effect they didn't mention on the sweetie darling yummy mummy over-priced website I was silly enough to have bought it from. It stank. Seriously, imagine a tramp's boots donated to that charity shop. The one you avoid because it reeks. I have no idea why it smelled so bad, but it got embarrassing to open the door, get a whiff and notice people wondering why my porch smelled like the rhino area at Longleat safari park. It had to go.

Instead I've spent the morning wandering shiftily around our local cemetery with secateurs in hand, trying to find interesting greenery. So, here's my attempt - it's in a soaked oasis wreath base so hopefully it will survive at least a week. Despite what a friend on Facebook suggested, I did not remove the finished result from anyone's grave. Honest.

Ok, there may still be a few stinky berries on it.
The bloody birds have eaten all the real ones. Pure selfishness.

{that outside light has never worked. I don't even know where the switch is}

It was harder than you'd imagine to find holly, but I finally found a small bush right over to the far side of the cemetery  near a section of tiny children's graves which are overgrown and clearly no longer visited. All  aside from one - decorated with tinsel and flowers - belonging to a little boy who died aged two back in the 1940s. It was bitter-sweet to imagine a by now presumably very elderly parent or sibling still coming and making it pretty for Christmas, amongst all those that have been long neglected. While I was roaming around, I also discovered this grave:

Intriguing huh? Turns out that Winchester Cathedral suffered badly with subsidence in the early 1900's - cracks big enough for an owl to roost in, apparently - and the under-pinning was being hampered by the fact that the workmen's trenches filled with water faster than they could dig. So solo deep sea diver William Walker was brought in, and spent the next six years 20 feet underwater for six hours a day, in complete darkness, evacuating the flooded trenches and filling them with bags of concrete. Given that the Cathedral is still standing, he really can be said to have saved it with his own hands. He died of the Spanish flu after the First World War. [I have no idea how he ended up in South Norwood].

After all my adventures with greenery I hauled some more ivy in from the garden and have been pretending I have ye olde ancestral hall by draping it across mirrors and mantelpieces in the style I imagine Henry VIII might have liked.

How have you decorated? Kitsch or classic? Or both? Link up - I'll add some of last year's Christmas posts as I've been so slack this December so far. I do have a Christmas eBay special coming up though!

Lakota x

Friday 14 December 2012

You missed me, right? And a winner...

Greetings and Salutations! It's been a bloody age but HUZZAH I have the interwebz again! I would like to believe you've all been keening and wailing and that the blogosphere has been at a virtual standstill without me but frankly I could have been LYING DEAD and EATEN BY ALSATIONS couldn't I? All still merrily posting pretty Christmas fripperies and vintage frockery without me? Ah well, normal service will hopefully be resumed from here on in.

So, what have I been doing? *cough cough* going to the gym *cough*. Yes yes, I know I mocked all that kind of stuff in this post about New Year's Resolutions, but it's still the old year and doesn't count. And I can absolutely guarantee that I will not ever refer to sweat as 'weakness leaving the pores'. Eugh. But I am losing weight and figured it would be good to gain some fitness with it. I know. This came as shock to everyone in the house as well. Boy2 saw me in my sports bra and said "Are you going to go running through the streets in the rain with no shirt on? Wearing only a pair of boobs?".

To everyone's relief, my answer continues to be no. However, I do hope that you'll all join me in my Friday regime, as shown below.

Speaking of Boy2, it is of course Nativity season. I enjoy these not only for the tiny angelic faces and tiny angelic fingers up noses, but for learning the up-and-coming names by perusing the programme. This year a Nevada joined the Paris and Italia we already have at the school, and 'Chennel (??) and Dior played their roles as twinkling stars to perfection. [If you must name your offspring after your favourite designer, do try and avoid making her sound like one of those knock-off perfumes you get down the market]. They definitely missed a trick by casting Kamil as a shepherd rather than the camel, but almost made up for it with Shaun the sheep. Mary and Joseph were played by Jessica and Zephyr in the Foundation stage production, and Jade and Devontae in the Juniors. Of course, my child was perfectly cast  ;-)

And Lo, I bring you tidings of great joy...the laptop's fixed

On to the Cox and Cox giveaway - the winner of the lovely heart glass baubles is:


Sorry for the delay. Let me know your details and you should be able to have them before the big day.

What did I miss?

Lakota xx

PS. Look what was waiting for me - only a rap battle between Santa and Moses. With Snoop playing Moses! Utter genius.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Ta-dah! Tuesday - Cox & Cox Christmas Giveaway - Heart Decorations

Hi - it's nearly December, and whilst a chill of fear trickles down the back of my neck at the thought of all the Christmas shopping I still have to do, there is the advantage that soon I'll be able to get all my decorations and ornaments out. And speaking of which, I recently found a pair of these lovely Cox & Cox antiqued glass hanging hearts - boxed and perfect as a present [yeah yeah] or to keep for yourself. And cos I'm nice like that, I'm giving them away. They come with velvet ribbon already attached and the RRP is £10.50. 

To enter, please  use the Rafflecopter widget. Giveaway open worldwide and I will do my best to wrap the the box in extra bubblewrap! You must be a follower of the blog to enter - any other follows are entirely optional.

I have put the Ta-dah! Tuesday link up as well as I have everyone to visit, but my laptop is still ropey so it may take me a while to get around to commenting on your post, but I always do. The link up is separate from the giveaway. Hope everyone's well.

Lakota aka Richard Dreyfuss x

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Ta-dah! Tuesday Link-up

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Ta-dah! Tuesday - In which I discover my destiny...

Hello...is it me you're looking for?  Following on from last week's brief addiction to YouTube, here's another way to waste your life 5 minutes if you're bored. Finding out which celebrity you look like! Remember how horrified you were that time a drunk old man in Wetherspoons told you that you look just like a character from Coronation Street? The one with a face like a slapped arse and 20 years on you? Or the momentary thrill when your ex-boyfriend told you looked a bit like Mylene Klass? If it was dark and she'd put on 3 stone?  Well, why not relive those moments with me and upload your photo to this utterly useless website I found recently?

Here it is - the Celebrity Look Alike Generator - or as I prefer to call it, the 'Which balding old man do you least resemble? Generator'. Choose your latest least hideous photograph - aka Facebook profile pic - and let the magical face recognition gremlins do their work. Want to see?

Wow. I can't believe no-one ever mentioned how much I look like Michael Bloomberg, 70 year old mayor of New York City. Or star of Jaws, and rakish moustache wearer Richard Dreyfuss. I had no idea who the last dude was, but apparently Joseph Biden was the 47th Vice-President of the United States. Sorry Joe. And he's 70 as well. I mean, seriously?? No Richard Gere? No George Clooney? Sheesh, if I MUST be a silver fox I'd even take Philip Schofield over this lot. Ok, I did get Melanie Griffith as well, but I'm not considering that as much improvement.

Maybe it's a recent phenomenon? Perhaps turning 36 has turned me from a fresh faced nubile young thing into celebrity Grandpa. I'll try a photo from a few years ago:

FFS! Now I'm bald as well! 

Ok, Richard Dreyfuss again. But in a very slightly different pose. That means I must look like him. [Note to self: buy Veet.] The only woman in the world who looks like Bruce Willis is his daughter Rumer, so we can assume that's a glitch in the matrix. But Rudolph Giuliani? As well as Michael Bloomberg? Well, spank my ass and call me mayor! It must be my DESTINY. I'm headed out for my first trip to the Big Apple next June - I'm guessing they're going to vote me right in. 


I fared a little bit better on Face Double, as at least I wasn't told I was a man. I was however matched with either black or Latina celebs, which is not a problem aside from the fact that my skin tone, hair and eyes all scream 'pasty white English girl'. I can see that with our round hamster cheeks stunning beauty we might have something in common, but otherwise I can't say anyone is ever likely to get me and Gabrielle Union confused. [What do you mean 'Who's Gabrielle Union?'. She was in Bring it On as head cheerleader of the Clovers. Like, duh.]

I can't say I'd be at all upset to be mistaken for America Ferrera either. That's assuming they were thinking of her as she actually looks in real life, and not this version:

Yeah, I'm not publishing the pictures of me with a fringe, just in case. 

It's me...Ugly Betty!


Basically, I think I have an old-school look. Celebs of today just don't gel with my style. I'm crap at hair much beyond a ponytail, so I'm not a blogger you'll see rocking pincurls or a beehive. Thank goodness for Yearbook Yourself. Check yourself out as you would have been from the 1950s to 2000.




What a timeless beauty, huh?

Lakota x

PS. I appear to have killed my laptop. I've been keeping up with everyone on my phone, and this post was done on the aged computer, but sorry for the lack of comments. I believe I've mentioned electrical appliances' short lives around me before - this is why I rarely hoover.

PPS. Oh, and link up anyway. I will read, honest! And tell me who you look like - I insist.

Wednesday 14 November 2012

The swastika - hate or re-assimilate?

[Warning: this post contains images of swastikas, as used in Eastern cultures.]

Bit of a thoughtful and possibly contentious post today, following on from a chat with my husband yesterday. As I've said, he's away in India at the moment, on another two week business trip. He's currently staying in a business district of Hyderabad, in a hotel used mainly by Westerners. He wasn't working when I spoke to him, as his colleagues in the office out there all had the day off to celebrate Diwali.

My husband is Jewish. He's culturally Jewish, rather than religious, as is the case with most of his immediate family. We live in London. He has friends and colleagues of  all kinds of religious and ethnic backgrounds and he travels a lot as part of his job. He is well aware that the swastika is an ancient religious symbol, derived from Sanskrit and denoting 'good luck', and that it's used extensively in Buddhist and Hindu parts of the world; as well as by the Native American people. He is also well aware that it was misappropriated by Hitler and his Nazi party, and that the swastika on the Nazi flag has been tilted 45 degrees. It is also missing the dots which would often sit inside the open areas. He knows all this, yet it still felt 'like a kick to the gut' to walk out of his hotel room and see this design in the lobby:

Happy Dewali sign made in coloured stones - hotel lobby, Hyderabad

What are your immediate thoughts? I am not Jewish, but like anyone brought up post 1940s Europe - and who doesn't have fascist leanings - the flag of the third reich inspires nothing but revulsion. Whilst it is not strictly illegal to display Nazi memorabilia in the UK - unlike in Germany, France, Italy, Hungary and Israel - it is widely considered to be in extremely poor taste. We do have laws against 'incitement of racial hatred', so wearing swastikas or painting them all over your house would have you on shaky legal ground. However, all this applies to the flag  itself - the swastika within a white circle, on a red background. [I would rather not have a picture of it on my blog, we all know what it looks like.] To me, that stylised version above is quite far removed from that on the Nazi flag - and clearly there was no intent to offend - Diwali is a joyous occasion, as important culturally in India as Christmas is here. However, Ben saw it immediately. The connections made in his brain inevitably lead him to the missing branches of his family tree. Those who came from Poland, not Latvia. The cousins of his step-father who never made it out of the camps. I am never going to have the same gut-clenching personal reality.

To many, that swastika is a similar to Hitler's as this  Letterman's jacket is to the anarchy symbol - the same root, but signifying completely different things:

Suppose violent anarchy took off again in the UK - the return of the riots we saw in the Summer of 2011, but this time leading to millions of deaths and the virtual collapse of society - would the symbol on the left seem as innocent? Or would it be tainted forever? Like the yellow swastika above, it might seem cuddlier looking to those who weren't directly affected, but for others the association would be immediate and inherently negative. [Likewise, it would be terrible but fascinating from a theoretical standpoint to wonder what would happen if a terrorist group committed atrocities using the Star of David as their 'stolen' symbol. Would it be given up by the Jewish faith as a result?]

Of course, context and background are everything. You can accept that the only place the swastika denotes fascism is on the Nazi flag - but how about if you see it spray-painted on a wall as you walk through an unfamiliar part of town? If it's carved into the table in the pub you're sat in? Your first thought is probably not going to be 'Buddhist temple nearby', as it might be if you were in Japan. [See flickr picture here - I don't have rights to use the photo]. If in the UK, I see a swastika in one of those scenarios, I shudder. I walk a little faster, or I finish my drink up quicker than I'd planned. That spindly graphic design, even divorced from the flag which attempted to 'trademark' it, still hums with menace. It says aggression - and even if you're not Jewish, or black, or gay, or a gypsy, or any other arbitrarily decided minority, the threat of violence is tangible.

"A boot stamping on a human face forever"  
George Orwell1984. 

That's the most perfect description of fascism I can imagine, and it's the line that comes to mind when I see 'that' swastika.

I am educated enough to realise that if I saw it on a poster advertising yoga classes at a Buddhist centre (for example) that the intent would not be the same, but I think that sad though it may be, a socially conscious yoga teacher wouldn't use the symbol anyway.You can argue until you're blue in the face that language changes and 'mong' just means a foolish person, but you just don't use it in front of a Mother of a child with Down's Syndrome unless you're an unmitigated git. [or Frankie Boyle]. Ditto using the word 'gay' to mean stupid or pointless - why use a word in a way that can hurt someone when you don't need to? Maybe I'm too old to have picked up this particularly uncharming bit of slang, but at least I don't have to spend my time going 'Oh, sorry, haha'  in front of certain friends. Explaining that someone's visceral reaction to a word or symbol is wrong doesn't make them feel better. Just apologise. Or better yet, think and don't use it.

I rang my friend Sunita earlier, and asked her whether the swastika spoke more to her as a Hindu symbol, or whether her immediate thought was fascism. She was more easily able to disassociate the two because of her family's cultural background, but as she is British - and the Holocaust is a vital part of our secondary school curriculum here - she agreed that seeing the swastika alone would still signal racism to her. I realise this 'evidence' is merely one person's opinion, but I do think that rehabilitation of the symbol is impossible in Europe and the Western world.

[This has turned into an essay, sorry]. 

Anyway, if you agree with my points above as they relate to the UK, shouldn't the same care for people's feelings - on both sides - apply in India? My husband is not one of the ranks of the 'professionally offended'. He does not make a fuss.  We know that the symbol does not carry any of the same connotations there - however he did have to explain to a friend and colleague who had taken him to a market why he could not possibly buy any wooden goods decorated with swastikas. His colleague was somewhat bemused, the cultural significance of the holocaust being almost zero to him. It would be pointless to see a swastika on a building - as a personal attack. If this was a house in the UK - it would be easy to justify refusing an invite. Who but a racist would decorate their home in such a way? But if this were a friend's family home in India, is it worth risking giving grave offence when none was meant?
I can't speak for Ben as we didn't discuss this scenario, but I would consider it rude to bring up the the cultural resonance it has for us, unless I was directly asked why I looked uncomfortable. Of course, I will say again - I am not Jewish.

Sunita - my friend - agreed it was a different matter when it comes to the hotel. Given that their clientele is almost exclusively Western business travellers, should they perhaps be a little more circumspect in deciding what are appropriate symbols to use? The sign was after all in English - so not aimed at locals. The intent was good, but the execution could be improved. I know that horrible racism and intolerance is experienced in the UK every day, but our I believe our basic tenets of law and government are good. We're against 'honour killings' and female oppression, but we have freedom of religion and know better than to decorate hotels with cartoons of the prophet Mohammed - to give a crazy example. The world is getting smaller - our global village has never been more crowded. Tolerance means understanding - not that we should tolerate hurting each other when it could be avoided.

What are your thoughts?
Lakota x

There is an interesting article and comments in the Jewish Week here, if you want to read more opinions.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Ta-dah! Tuesday

Hi, I am wrestling with another post which will hopefully go up later today, however it really isn't in keeping with the light-hearted theme of Ta-dah! Tuesday, so I will put the linky up here to keep them separate.

Thanks for all the funny video recommendations, you've kept me sane! Check out some more over on my Facebook page.

A Happy Diwali to all who celebrate it!

Lakota x

Friday 9 November 2012

Something for the Weekend - how YouTube took over my life

My husband is away again. He's in India for a fortnight. This basically means I revert to my baseline state of being, which is that of a 14 year old, only without the One Direction obsession and sucked in cheeks Facebook profile pic. The children still get to fed and taken to school, but there's a lot more eye-rolling and big sighs about how unfair it is. Then I come home, refuse to make my bed and watch urban street-dance movies until it's time to pick them up again.*

Anyway, when I get tired of perving over Channing Tatum - kidding! like that would ever happen - I turn to the natural refuge of the terminally bored, YouTube. Aah, YouTube - where all those racist Yahoo News commenters start out. Home of the cute cat, impossibly beautiful Filipina makeup vlogger, and stupid people attempting to eat cinnamon from a spoon. [look up 'cinnamon challenge'.]

So, here's the videos which have made me snort diet coke out my nose the most over the last couple of days. Some are new finds, some are old favourites.

YETI - I can't describe how genius I think this is. But then I have a childish sense of humour. Someone has lip-read Coldplay's 'In my Place' and come up with completely new lyrics which fit the movement of Chris Martin's mouth. Then recorded the song. And it's the best work Coldplay have never done.

"I called but you ran to the forest..."

HALLOWEEN LIGHTSHOW - GANGNAM STYLE - Has Psy's catchy like herpes Korea pop outstayed its welcome yet? Hell no. Not when you can have your whole house singing along. OK, so I would hate to live opposite someone like this -  our neighbour's security light alone makes me twitchy - but I can appreciate it from a distance of  approximately 3000 miles and my laptop.

CAT VS PRINTER - THE TRANSLATION - Old, but so good. And sweary. Sorry kids.

Give me links. I have nine more days til he gets home. And have a great weekend.

Lakota x

*Please don't call social services.

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Ta-dah! Tuesday - A birthday present...

Hi, I thought today I would just give you a quick look at one of the presents I was lucky enough to receive for my birthday. I've mentioned my Aunt and Uncle before, and when they're not at the races they're hunting for treasure at antiques fairs - lucky me that they have a great eye!

It's an antique silver stamp holder, hallmarked Birmingham 1906. What with postage being sky-high these days, even a second-class stamp deserves better than being jammed into your purse next to some old receipts and train tickets, don't you think?

I think we'd been discussing my auntie's silver wine labels collection, and that led me to mention an article I'd seen earlier in the year in Homes & Antiques, where they had stamp holders as 'antique of the month'. I said how pretty I thought they were. Obviously she remembered.

Look - there's mine!
[BBC Homes & Antiques - February 2012]

I've put a chain on mine and have been wearing it as a necklace. Spoilt aren't I?

Do link up any of your latest makes, greatest finds, loveliest outfits or just things you'd like to show off about.

My only achievement this week has been getting the Christmas swap partners sorted, so if you're playing, please do take a look and see who you're with.

Lakota x
Also linking up late with Magpie Monday, as it's so pretty

Monday 5 November 2012

Christmas Swap 2012 Partners announced!

It's here, I've done it at last! I am sorry that it took me over a week from sign up closing to get partners up, but the swap has got bigger each time I've done it - and I have to try and assign someone in the right area, who you haven't swapped with before, and hopefully (where possible) whom you might have something in common with as well! This time I had far fewer people from Australia and NZ so I hope it's not a problem if your partner is in the other country. I am aware that postage costs can be high  - it's now ridiculous in the UK - so a lot of people specified their own country only. There are some lovely blogs I've not seen before which I hope to make time to check out properly. Also apologies if you've left me comments recently and I've not returned the favour.

Please make contact with your partner as I may well not have time to leave a comment on 86 blogs giving people a nudge! Some people may have more than one blog so you could also check their profile on the original sign up post here. Any problems do let me know via my email on the sidebar, but please remember this is the internet and I can't individually vet everyone who wants to take part. But I'm sure everyone's still up for it - I've only had very few reported issues in the previous three I've run and far far more reports of great gifts and new friends. So, without further ado...

***EDIT - ignore the endings of the blog addresses, as I'm in the UK somehow they automatically convert to co.uk even if your blog is elsewhere in the world. It will redirect automatically***

Pixie           http://pixierambles1966.blogspot.co.uk/
Crafty Smiles   http://craftysmiles.blogspot.co.uk/

Mrs D          http://hellothemushroom.blogspot.co.uk/
yesmissfox http://yesmissfox.wordpress.com/

Wendy http://thebutterflybalcony.blogspot.co.uk/
Lucy http://fortiesknitter.blogspot.co.uk/

Simple Country Girl  http://www.simplecountrygirl.com/
Jewel                   http://prettylittlejewels.blogspot.co.uk/

Emma Kate http://paintedstyle.blogspot.co.uk/
Julie         http://shabbychic08.blogspot.co.uk/

Pam @ over 50 feeling40    http://www.over50feeling40.com/
Style Sud-est                    http://stylesud-est.blogspot.co.uk/

Rebecca                         http://crivenscottage.blogspot.co.uk/
Linda/simply vintage http://vintagehearth.blogspot.co.uk/

Linda         http://heyhomewrecker.blogspot.co.uk
Fat Dormouse http://fatdormouse.blogspot.co.uk/

Jem         http://beautifulclutter.blogspot.co.uk/
Lakota http://faithhopeandcharityshopping.blogspot.co.uk

Terri                         http://www.ragsagainstthemachine.com/
Mistress Catgirl         http://agirlofmanyinterest.blogspot.co.uk/

Sian Lile      http://sianlilemakes.blogspot.co.uk/
Sooz         http://lastbiscuit.blogspot.co.uk/

Joyatri http://www.joyatri.com/
miss_b http://polkadotsandpinkflamingos.blogspot.co.uk/

My Turquoise Queen http://myturquoisequeen.wordpress.com/
Anna                           http://goldliondiaries.blogspot.co.uk/

Edie Pop         http://factorymom.blogspot.co.uk/
Sacremento http://www.mispapelicos.com/

Single Married Mum http://patchworkparent.blogspot.co.uk/
Jenny                             http://the-gingerbread-house.co.uk/

Beki                         http://bekisbloggybits.blogspot.co.uk/
Hannah Ackroyd http://hannahackroyd.wordpress.com/

Vicky http://theowlandtheaccordion.blogspot.co.uk/
Janey http://isthatyoudarling.wordpress.com/

Menopausel supermodel http://menopauselsupermodel.wordpress.com/
Crystal in Texas                http://texastreasurebox.blogspot.co.uk/

Crafty Mum                                 http://crafty-mum.blogspot.co.uk/
The Undomesticated Scientist http://undomesticatedscientist.blogspot.com/

Lizzy                          http://handmade-homemade-lizzy.blogspot.co.uk/
A handmade lifestyle  http://ahandmadelifestyle.blogspot.co.uk/

Dresden Fae http://kathrynscuriouslife.blogspot.co.uk/
mrsmmakes http://mrsmmakes.wordpress.com/

Jean at Dross into Gold http://drossintogold.com/
Bella Q                         http://www.thecitizenrosebud.com/

Style Agent 909 http://styleagent909.blogspot.co.uk/
Tami von zalez     http://thriftshopcommando.blogspot.co.uk/

Franca                  http://www.oranges-and-apples.com/
Pearl Westwood http://fashionpearlsofwisdom.co.uk/

The life of a textiles teacher http://thelifeofatextilesteacher.blogspot.co.uk/
Ivy Black                                http://ivyandruby.blogspot.com/

Kimberley Atkinson  http://creativechaosnz.blogspot.co.uk/
cassmob (pauline)      www.troppont.wordpress.com

Tales of a pale face http://talesofapaleface.blogspot.co.uk/
lady bug says               http://lady-bug-says.blogspot.co.uk/

Hannah Brooker http://cupcakemumma2011.blogspot.co.uk
Louise Dolding         http://louiselovescake.blogspot.co.uk/

Rose and Bird http://pacificrobin.blogspot.co.uk/
Kat got the cream  http://katgotthecream.blogspot.co.uk/

Cute as a button http://cuteasabutton82.wordpress.com/
anglers rest            http://anglersrest.blogspot.co.uk/

Jennifer @ Town and Country living http://townandcountryliving.blogspot.co.uk/
EvalinaMaria           http://evalinamaria.blogspot.co.uk/

Nice Day Designs http://www.nicedaydesigns.org/
Janys                       http://artycraftycreations.blogspot.co.uk/

Misfits Vintage        http://www.misfitsvintage.com/
Pull Your socks up   http://pullyoursoxup.blogspot.com/

Alex                 http://oddsocksandprettyfrocks.blogspot.com/
Jennicambell85  http://bowsbanglesandbakes.blogspot.co.uk/

Kezzie                 http://kerenzaallin-garner.blogspot.co.uk/
Miss Simmonds http://misssimmondssays.blogspot.co.uk/

Miss Magpie http://missmagpiemusings.blogspot.com/
Hannah           http://hannah-make-time.blogspot.co.uk/

Miss Tea                                  http://tea-diary.blogspot.com/
Middle Aged Drama Queen http://diaryofamiddleageddramaqueen.blogspot.com/

Skyblupink         http://sky-blu-pink.blogspot.com/
Rosy rag patch   http://rosyragpatch.wordpress.com/

Marina              http://evelynmayvintage.blogspot.co.uk/
Vintage Vicki    http://vickislittleworld.blogspot.com/

Past Caring                 http://sopastcaring.blogspot.com/
Sophie - Country Girl http://cgdn.blogspot.com/

Nicole Needles        http://nicoleneedles.blogspot.com/
Danni the Girl         http://dannithegirl.blogspot.com

Thorne Garnet   http://thornegarnet.blogspot.co.uk/
Noelleo designs  http://noelleodesigns.com/

Nanacathy                                   http://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com/
Caroline/Secret Blogger             http://secretblog29.blogspot.co.uk/

A Reminder of the Rules...
  • As usual, you should send your swap partner a minimum of three items, a maximum of five. 
  • There is a maximum spend of £12 or the equivalent in your local currency.
  • At least one item - though more if you can - should be second hand, and  sourced from a charity shop, car boot sale, jumble, estate sale, eBay or similar.
  • At least one item should be handmade. If you are not crafty yourself, it's fine to provide a handmade item that someone else has toiled over instead.
  • And this time, one item MUST relate to a Christmas carol or song. How you interpret this is up to you! 
  • One item could fulfil several categories. A home-made white fluffy pom-pom garland made from thrifted wool could count as handmade, second hand and represent 'Let it Snow', for example.
  • Try and get your swap done by Christmas - let your partner know if you'll be late or you have any problems.
  • Have fun!

Lakota x

Nails inc Winner!


The very lucky winner of the Nails inc goody bag is:

Jan Atkinson!

Congratulations Jan - please let me know your address details - my email is on the side bar - and I will get your polishes in the post as quickly as I can. I hope you enjoy them, and continue to read Faith Hope and Charity Shopping.

Lakota x

Saturday 3 November 2012

It's a Retro Cook Off - Cod in Custard Sauce!

How fab an idea for an online party is this? Kylie of Lucy Violet Vintage and Donna from Hung up on Retro had the inspired idea to host a link up where all the participants agreed to make something, erm, different from one of their retro cookbooks, or from vintage recipe inspiration online. How could I refuse to take part? If you pop over to their blogs you'll discover such tempting delights as 'Salmon party salad' and 'Black Magic Chocolate cake made with condensed tomato soup' (I kid you not). I didn't quite get organised enough to cook an entire three courses, but as it's half term - the time the kids are allowed Nutella on toast or cocoa-pops for breakfast - I decided a new breakfast treat would be perfect. But what to cook? 

Let's see, breakfasts...Aah yes, PERFECT

'The Complete Hostess' is a book I found for 20p at a car boot sale earlier in the year, and it's filled with 'Menus, Table Etiquette, Party Hints and Recipes'. 

Nell writes with such authority - "The charm of a well-set table can do much to overcome the early morning grumps of some people" - that I knew she'd have a great suggestion or two up her sleeve to 'vary the breakfast menu'.  What could be more delicious than 'cod in custard sauce'?

Mmm, cod SMOTHERED in custard

Not being a massive fan of custard I just make it as and when it's demanded from an aged tub of Birds yellow powder, which went out of date sometime after the war. Therefore I've never made 'proper' custard with egg yolks, and was a little alarmed to note Nell's breezy assumption that one would already know how to do it. Still, by the time I'd drunk a little medicinal gin and tonic and smoked a pack and half of cigarettes - so good for the figure! - I was ready to give it my best shot.

"It is wise to provide an ash-tray either on the table or at some convenient place, as nothing is so unpleasant as ash in the tea or coffee cups and saucers"
Nell Heaton

Anyway, I merrily flaked my cold boiled cod - 50s housewife Lakota has no concern for the depletion of the oceans - and whisked away frantically with my hot milk and egg yolks. I'm sure Nell wouldn't have dropped her nutmeg in the custard while she was grating it, but I imagine that just infused it with extra flavour.

 Mmm, let's see how that custard turned out shall we? Only slightly curdled! Come along children! Spit spot!

Come back Birds, all is forgiven. I'm not sure that the violent yellow colour of powdered custard would have been much less appealing than the anemic looking sauce with speckles which I created - perhaps using that lurid dyed yellow haddock would give it a bit more colour. Or maybe it doesn't matter as I should be using "a gay spotted or checked cloth in my breakfast nook".

I bribed the smallest boy with the promise of something from his trick or treat stash, but typically Boy1 didn't need much persuasion. Do you remember Joey in Friends when Rachel accidentally made a trifle using beef sauteed with peas and onions along with jam and lady-finger biscuits?  That's my eldest. "Fish? Good. Custard? GOOOOD". I thought even he would be defeated on seeing his initial expression:

But his 'I'll eat anything' genes won out in the end!

Good job Mum!

Of course I wasn't so evil as to make the boys try something I wasn't willing to eat myself:

Here goes...

Gosh, I'll never eat Kelloggs again!

Who's up for breakfast at my place tomorrow? Anyone? 

Lakota x

Have a great weekend and don't forget to check out everyone else's creations!

Wednesday 31 October 2012

Woooooooooo Wednesday - Halloween link up!

Trick or Treat! I'm home, and just in time for Halloween. Being a bad mother who was out enjoying herself at a hotel (afternoon tea, four poster, peacocks) I left the buying of pumpkins to the last minute and discovered they'd all sold out. I'm also a bad blogger who was too busy to sort out her own link party yesterday - sue me. We'll have it today instead. Halloween inspired posts especially welcome but not essential.

Luckily improvisation is one of my many middle names - Lakota is just one of them - so I got busy with a serrated knife and a couple of oranges. The kids seemed happy enough, but they're probably even more of a fire hazard than pumpkins, what with their tendency to roll about the place. The oranges that is, not the children. Although, come to think of it...

There was something odd about her groceries this week, but she just couldn't quite put her finger on it...

[Bat clothes pegs by Suck UK]

[You didn't think you'd get away without seeing my nails did you?]

Last chance to enter the Nails inc giveaway - closes tomorrow.
Link up lovelies!

Lakota x

Saturday 27 October 2012

Something for the Weekend - Hmm, you look familiar...

Halloween. I think we can all agree that the Americans do it better than us. It's kind of cute when the neighbours' 4 year old comes round as a mini skeleton and lisps 'trick or treat' at you at 5pm. It's less fun when you're attempting to watch Eastenders and have opened the door to the 14th hulking teen in a Scream mask menacing you for fun size Cadburys. You could go to a party, but options are limited - what will it be this year - slutty witch, slutty vampire or slutty cat? [The same low-cut flammable polyester bustier can be pressed into service for all three]. Our pals across the pond meanwhile are rocking 'Octomom', 'dismembered torso in a suitcase', and erm, 'ball pool'.

Pete Burns wasn't sure his job as Angelina's nanny was working out

Jeez, why's it always the ketchup that leaks?

It never pays to rummage much below the top layer. There'll be an apple core and a dirty nappy in there somewhere. Mark my words.

But who is Halloween really all about? Have we forgotten the true meaning of Samhain? Without the sterling efforts of our feline friends it's highly possible that many women burned as witches might have lived full boring lives as local herbalists. Imagine how dull things might have been without the caprice of our canine companions leading early villagers to believe in the presence of demons. It's only right that we repay them for these services, don't you think? And what better way than allowing them their own little slice of Halloween magic? See how happy they look:

Avada Kedavra. 
Seriously motherfucker. We are THROUGH

Ginger and Tiddles had been listening to backwards records again.

You know things are bad when a beagle's eyes seem to be saying 'Please, take me back to the research lab. I miss the toasted taste of Lucky Strike'.

Go Team

Sweet Lolita kitteh says kawaii. Whatever.

I'm confused Mommy. Who's Cerberus? 

Try this again and you lose a finger.

If you've always wished for a different, more exotic pet - Halloween is the perfect time to put your wishes into action. No need to trawl Craigs list or purchase an unreliable transformation spell from eBay - simply strap on the prosthetic bunny ears and away you go:

Imma get Jurassic on yo' ass

Hey, weren't you in Willow?

Just kill me. 

Skunk dog thinks you stink

What's up dawg?

Spiderpug. Combining cute and horrific since 1998

Mutant spider dog would probably be enough to keep me off your lawn, but if you're really anti trick or treaters you could bring out the big guns:

I know, I know, it's wrong to paint pets or give them extra limbs. But occasionally an outfit is so perfect we should just chuck animal rights out of the window entirely. If I were in charge of such matters this guy would be forced to dress as Winnie the Pooh every day, and I usually HATE the Disney version:

You're with me on this, right?

Peta are just going to have to find a new spokesperson, cos it's going to take a hero to stop this kind of exploitation:

Happy Halloween!

Lakota x

Hi new followers! I'm guessing you came for the swap or the Nails inc giveaway. I can't blame you. If you stick around you might enjoy the rest. I mostly like second hand shizzle and poking fun at things I find on the internet. eBay sellers don't like me very much and if you pin something ridiculous to Pinterest I will say so. I once wanted to marry Tom Cruise, but I'm over that now. Oh, and it's my birthday today.