Friday, 31 May 2013

Frock on a Friday - cheongsam

Hilariously, while I was away I found out I'd been shortlisted for a BiB award. I don't quite know how this happened, as it wasn't in the 'Mildly humorous Drivel' category, but 'Fashion'. Supposedly once you're nominated someone on the panel takes a look at your blog, so I'm not really sure how no-one twigged I'm not a fashion blogger. I mean, I love clothes and all, but hate having my photo taken, so it's not really a match made in heaven. And if you look back through my archive, there's only a handful of posts featuring me [although I have stopped cutting my head off. And my profile picture is now me. That's progress, people!]. Anyway, I didn't bother confirming my blog and getting a badge because it just seemed a bit weird and frankly made me think less of their selection process anyway. It would make about as much sense as Rihanna being voted Miss Modesty. However, I did figure it was time for another awkward outfit post.

So, on to the dress. I found it in a charity shop for £4. It looks hardly worn. And it's purple! Yay! I had a cheongsam years ago but it met with an accident so I'm really pleased to finally find a replacement. [It only took a couple of decades]. Possibly it needs removal of another rib/5lbs to be completely flattering - shiny satin not being the worlds most photograph friendly material, but  I swear that is just wrinkles in the fabric, not flab. Mostly. Possibly it would look better inside, in the gloom. [Gosh,I'm really working this fashion blogger angle].

Breathe in! Grin! Stick your elbow out in an unnatural fashion

I got the straighteners out - big hair wasn't working

Cheongsams are possibly the world's most impractical clothing - you can't really sit down, or eat, or um, breathe - but hey, respiration is overrated!

And finally, here's my contribution to the 'chronic Bitchface' archives:

Yup, nailed it.

Lakota x

Linking up to Magpie Monday over at Liz's

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Ta-dah! Tuesday - Banana and Chocolate Muffins

This is another great recipe for using up over-ripe bananas*, and can go from thought to plate in less than half an hour. The big chunks of dark chocolate all the way through them make them really special - and even if you think you don't like the dark stuff, the sweetness of the bananas offsets it perfectly. My boys would turn their noses up at 70% cocoa solids chocolate, but they'll devour these. Also, if you use Fairtrade bananas and Chocolate, you'll actually become Gwyneth Paltrow, only with a sense of humour. [Obviously she wouldn't eat them, cos of the wheat, dairy, sugar and fun thing. But she might serve them to Bono]

Ingredients (makes 12)
10oz/275g Self Raising Flour
1tsp bicarb soda, pinch salt
3oz/75g sugar
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg, beaten
2 fl oz/50 ml milk
3 fl oz/75 ml oil (veg/sunflower)
4oz/100g bar dark chocolate, smashed while in the wrapper using a rolling pin.

  • Preheat oven to 190c
  • Sift the flour, bicarb, salt and sugar into a bowl and make a well in the centre.
  • Add the bananas, egg, oil, milk and chocolate and stir briefly to combine. The mixture will be quite lumpy, this is fine.
  • Spoon into paper cases in a muffin tin, or silicon muffin moulds.
  • Cook in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until they look like this:

  • Amazing warm or cold.

Lakota x

I've missed loads of your posts during my moving/home schooling/no internetz hiatus - so link link link below!

*Yes, I purposefully buy bananas so they can go brown and have to be used in cake recipes.

Friday, 24 May 2013

G'day Africa!

[I just found this knocking around in my draft posts, written shortly after Children in Need day at the boys' old school.]

Following a day where he'd gone into school wearing spots à la Pudsey Bear for a £1 charity donation*, Boy2 was uncharacteristically forthcoming about what he'd learned in class. I listened proudly as he told me they'd watched a film explaining why they were raising funds, showing children with no shoes walking miles to school, and how sometimes they would only have one meal a day. "They don't have houses like us Mummy, and maybe only one toy. And they have to drink dirty brown water that can make you not well". I was really pleased at how carefully he'd listened and taken in what they'd been taught, and told him so, adding that we were very lucky in our country, and shouldn't forget it. 

He walked from the room with the satisfied air of one who has imparted great wisdom:

"And that is all about Australia" he said.

So close...

Lakota x

* you can tell whoever thinks up this stuff has girls. When was the last time you saw boys' clothing with polka dots on? 

Thursday, 23 May 2013


Happy May!

It's been way too long. Thanks to those who have emailed or called me in my absence, I'm now officially a Home Counties mama instead of a Sarf London mum. There's plenty to do on the house, but the garden keeps drawing my eye to the window and I find myself gazing vacantly out, not achieving very much. I have plenty of my usual random nonsense to get around to writing about, but in the absence of any actual Springlike weather here's my Kate Humble-esque nature report from Hertfordshire. [You'll have to imagine me in a fleece, the odd leaf tumbled artlessly in my pre-Raphaelite locks]

Wood pigeons are even stupider than I always suspected. Did you see this picture on Yahoo? [It was a slow news day, obviously]. I have something similar on my kitchen window, after a collision sounding and looking like the Grinch had lobbed a Christmas turkey at it with some speed.

It flew off, then it or one of its equally dozy cousins did the same thing to an upstairs bedroom a couple of days ago. When they're not being kamikaze at our windows they tend to strut around the garden, puffed up with their own importance, giving the ladies piercing looks and shitting all over the lawn. [Only one of those things doesn't make me think of Paul Hollywood off Great British Bake-off]. One met an untimely end at the claws of a sparrowhawk in next door's garden - we'd already seen him narrowly miss a siskin in our own - which was unfortunate for the pigeon, but another exciting day for the twitchers in the house. That's all of us, with the possible exception of boy2. He insists on referring to certain avian visitors as 'Batman birds' and 'the boy wonder'. [He has a pretty good sense of humour for a 5 year old]. Incidentally, the boy wonder has made a nest in the ivy on our fence, so we should have baby robins soon.

Mentally traumatised but undamaged siskin recovers at Lakota's bird hospital

'Batman' bird

Squirrels are annoying little buggers. The seeds of this thought were planted long ago when one ran up my leg in Singleton Park, Swansea when I was about 8. It shot down a tree and up my sock about as far as my knee before exchanging an alarmed look with me and running off. [I once had a lost homing pigeon land on my head too. Evidently I resemble Nelson's column]. Still, I'm fond of wildlife in general and boys were pleased that 'Squirrelly' appeared to have made the move with us from our old house. I don't mind him helping himself to a few peanuts or sunflower seeds from the birdfeeder, but I do object to him then burying said peanuts in my newly planted rocket - merrily digging up seedlings as he does so. Also running off with not one but two entire fist sized suet balls hung up for the birds is just plain greedy.

Apparently there are black squirrels locally. Now if that doesn't sound like some kind of witches' familiar I don't know what does. Cute though.

Far away Tawny Owls manage to sound just enough like a crying child to make me go upstairs and stand outside a bedroom door, listening intently. Hearing nothing, I return to my Sons of Anarchy boxset only for them to do it again. Outwitted by an owl. I must be losing it.

Lakota x