Bits & pieces 4: Chanel, beetroot and a vintage slip..

Gee whiz it's been busy lately. Some days it seems I barely have time to breathe let alone write a coherent sentence (and I write for a living). I've decided that a few treats are the only way to get by. I'm making this month brighter with:

1. New make up, and Chanel's new spring nail colour called 'April'.

2. Actually finding the time and will to paint my nails.

3. Beetroot for dinner. The bright pink vegetable that truly is the sweetest of them all. Roasted, boiled, raw, grated or baked in a chocolate cake: I adore it all. Especially when the mister cooks it for me and when it's in all shades of gold and pink.

4. A green vintage slip I bought on a day trip to Brighton recently. It's currently soaking in a bucket in my bathtub. A few minor amends and it will be as good as new in no time.

5. Breakfast. I've been making an effort to actually eat breakfast at home before work these days. This is apple, pecans, soy yoghurt and oats. Deliciousness in a bowl.

How do you cope when you are too busy to think? What little things do you do to cheer yourself up?

All photos by me.

Bits & pieces 3: All things red

A token Valentines Day post. I don't really dig Valentines Day, I'm far too cynical. For too many years in my teens I watched my big brother struggle in the door laden with roses and cuddly toys from his admirers (bleugh), and my mother working long hours at a florist. Flowers and chocolates are for every day, not just for Valentines Day people! But this year I've decided that instead of going around in a strop, I'm going to treat today as a good excuse to:

1. Wear my favourite red lipstick, Chanel Lune Rousse

2. Drink more than one glass of red from here with the Mr, (we'd probably be doing that anyway)

3. Wear my favourite red velvet dress.

Not too much for the office right?

4. Wear heart print tights and glittery hearts from Giant Dwarf in my hair

5. Make the Mr chocolate brownies, complete with a sprinkling of red edible glitter

6. Listen to Leonard Cohen's new album Old Ideas. And to this brilliant cover of 'So Long Marianne' by Bill Callahan

7. Avoid the television, especially Don't tell the Bride and Take Me Out. My two guilty pleasures

8. Buy myself some new perfume so I can indeed smell like red roses, even if I'm not carrying a great big bunch home

9. Eat big red juicy tomatoes from Broadway Market

10. Give the Mr a little card, because they do say that all us cynics, are secretly romantics at heart.

More denials of romance on Pinterest here.

Bits & pieces 2: January blues

A few things that are helping me chase away the January blues:

1. Eating cake and buying ribbons at the lovely Ray Stitch on Essex Road. I really need to find a permanent home for my sewing machine.

2. Reading about the gorgeous Alexa, while in bed with a cold.

3. Listening to this guy, after seeing him play a smashing show at the Hackney Empire last Wednesday. (Sorry about the rubbish iPhone pic - it was dark).

4. This is Mr Ukulele's bike. I'm spending my days looking at lady bike's on eBay, and hoping the perfect one will crop up just for me. It's time I replaced my old one.

5. Eating fancy mushrooms from Sporeboys at Broadway market. Reading and making yummy stews and soups my Christmas present cookbooks, this and this.

6. Loving our new old writing bureau. It was old and scummy when we bought it from a nearby charity shop. It looks much better with several licks of paint. It's nice to have another place to sit as sometimes we're fighting for desk space. And it doubles as drawers in the bedroom, which we had been annoyingly living without.

7. And which also doubles a sort-of dressing table for my pretty things. I'll share a before and after of the bureau on here soon.

8. Dreaming of drinking Blood Orange Gin Sparklers in my garden, when Spring has sprung.

9. Being addicted to Instagram. Completely, utterly addicted actually. You can find me by looking for @theteapotexplodes.

10. And finally planning a city break to Paris in March. The Eurostar is super cheap this month and it's a couple of years (far far too long) since I last went to the city of Serge Gainsbourg and Chanel. This was a tea party my sister and I had at the apartment we stayed in on my last visit. I've been looking up new places to go, away from the usual tourist trappings - any suggestions?

xxx

Pics all by me, except 4. by Luke and 8. from 101 Cookbooks.