Friday, 7 November 2014

Halloween 2014

I am a terrible "blogger". Why do you trust me?
Hopefully our blogger/ reader relationship isn't completely soiled and you'll still put up up with me. Unfortunately the DIY that I had planned for the post had an expiration date of a couple of days before halloween, and due to half term general business and socialising (!) I was unable to finish.

I would really like DIY posts to be a part of my blog so I have decided to just push it back by a week or so, hopefully by then I should have something in store.

Today I just felt like a bit of experimenting based off of the many "day in the life of" videos I watch on youtube. Obviously my life isn't quite as exiting/ glam as theirs- but, I mean, this was halloween. Which cannot possibly be boring.


When I woke up, even before I got into my costume, I knew I needed to be at least a lil spooky for today. Hence, the spider tights (which I am totally not planning on wearing the rest of the year- what?!)

Then I got to work on roasting some veggies for a delicious pumpkin and sweet potato soup- this was an all day task. Recipe at bottom of post. 

Afterwards I looked through an adorable old book we have, which contains recipes, traditions, and songs for all events year round. It's a little dated, which makes it better to be honest. 

Then we got dragged out of the house to go for a walk... (It was lovely)

Close up of the soup that looks a little unappealing but: TRUST ME ON THIS. IT IS SO SO GOOD and creamy.

Chilled in my room for a little bit, and was very cosy in a soft jumper whilst burning some candles and incense.

In the evening I went trick or treating with my friend Sally, I'm only 14- there is no way on earth I'm gonna stop yet. The plan was to be some kind of haunted doll, but I ended up being more Wednesday Addams-esque. I still haven't decided if the fact my halloween makeup is just a heavier version of my everyday makeup should be worrying. Also pictured are the spoils. ^^
NOTE:I'm really unsure about this post and have been stressing about how it will fit into my blog- so that's the cause of delay. Also, due to this, I'd be super grateful for any feedback. Thank you for bearing with me...

SONG OF THE POST:
 

Recently I've been really into this kind of low-fi (?) sounding stuff because I am hipster trash. But, genuinely it's pretty great.

Much love,
Flo x  

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Autumnal close-ups






This is all taken from my photography work at school, but I thought I'd share it here because it's a lot different to my normal style. Overall I'm pretty proud of the effect... Our tasks this month have been related to Autumn (which makes me a very happy bunny because everyone knows that it is definitely the best season) but instead of going for a typical bright, candy-corn colour palette I thought it would be interesting to have a darker look. I think it turned out creating an interesting effect.

This week's song is Froot by Marina and the Diamonds aka OHMYGODSHERELEASEDANOTHERSONGFINALLYiMSOINLOVEIMGONNACRY. Or, you know, something along those lines...


See you next week,
Flo x

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Parental Advisory >> why we should be worried about the censorship of music videos

((*Note on weekly rota at the end of this post))

This blog is rarely the home to serious posts, in the end I want it to be a largely positive space full of creativity and general fluff. On the other hand, I have the privilege of having a platform on which to share my opinions which (hopefully) some people will see. The point of these posts is not to dictate what your opinion should be, or if your morals are wrong- instead I want them to make people think, and reflect; most of all to realise that they can have opinions and viewpoints of their own.

So something that has recently been in the news is David Cameron's announcement that, for three months, starting in October, there is to be a voluntary pilot of a ratings system for music videos. He has stated that the reason for these changes is to prevent the internet from becoming 'some sort of lawless space'. The British board of Film Classification will be responsible for these ratings- which will be 12, 15 , or 18, depending on content- in a manner similar to films themselves. The aim of this change is to help parents protect their children from graphic and/ or sexual content.

Helping parents to control what their children view in itself is a pretty good idea, however I have a variety of reasons for disagreeing with what this campaign is doing. In general, I disagree with censorship, especially of the internet. One of the beautiful things about the internet is the ability it gives users across the world to communicate, and in some places/ situations, is the only space where they can share opinions and rally together to bring change. It gives an outlet where news stories can be reported, which probably wouldn't make it into mainstream media, or if they did, briefly, with a heavy bias. Take the recent events in Ferguson for example. The only way I heard about the early occurrences there was via tumblr- whilst the first mentions I heard of it on BBC news were a couple of days later. At this point I want to mention this amazing ad campaign by Reporters Without Borders, which is a very powerful visual representation of what censorship does (also it's incredibly witty and makes me giggle).

It may seem like I'm going off on a bit of  a tangent here, but I want to show the full picture of what censorship means, in order to illustrate why I have the opinion I do of the idea suggested. But it's not just that, it's the fact that it would be impossible to put a blanket restriction on all music videos with any references to things that could be taken as risque or controversial. Different people have different standards for what is and isn't acceptable. What about videos that deal with topics of religion? Or war? Would people under the age of 15 not be allowed to see that viewpoint? It's all too easy to say that the influence music and general pop-culture has had is bad- things are a lot less conservative than they were 30 years ago. But is this even that awful? Our generation is one of the most open-minded and progressive- rights for LGBT people are being fought for, in a much more mainstream sense than before; racism, even in it's smallest forms, is being recognized and changed. Now that young people are getting more and more of their information from the internet instead of their parents, politics is being changed.

Secondly, there is a world of difference between Blurred Lines and Anaconda... Let me explain, Blurred Lines itself was criticised for the lyrics being rather creepy at best, downright 'rapey' at worst. But the video was disliked because of a rather different thing- it contained a naked breast- I know right?!!? An actual boob!!! !!controversy!! The matter of different standards for male and female nudity warrants it's own ranty post but all I shall say for now is: the problem here wasn't that fact a female chest was uncovered (at least it shouldn't have been), but the fact so in an exploitative way. Here, in a male artist's music video, which he would be profiting from.  On the other hand Anaconda by Nicki Minaj- another video that has come under fire recently. Okay, I can see why guardians may not want there 7 year old child to watch this, it's not exactly family friendly. However, as opposed to Robin Thicke's exploitation, this is assertive- Nicki Minaj is owning her own sexuality which she shouldn't be shamed for. You can't put it all on the same level. Like it or not, children are going to be exposed to sex one way or other, and if it's going to be from mainstream media, it should be in a healthier context. Yes I just called a Nicki Minaj video a healthy context to learn about sexuality. Where is this even going?

Finally: in the end, it's an individual's responsibility to protect their children- if they want to protect them, they should feel free to- but parent's should be the ones wrapping their children in cotton wool not the whole darn world. Put protections on your browser, if you want to, don't let them watch MTV, discuss drugs and sex with them. Just, for crying out loud, stop whinging about something you're not doing anything to prevent yourself.

This reads terribly, and for that I apoligise, when typing fast and in the heat of the moment, I struggle to put my thoughts together in a cohesive manner. Some of my facts may be off, if so feel free to correct me.

(*About post scheduling: Immediately after starting my schedule I have gone off for two weeks, I know I know. To make things easier, and to make scheduling for the guest post fit I've decided to skip over the topics of the two missed posts this rotation. When it restarts you shall be getting them, do not stress. I hope this isn't terribly annoying!)

SONG OF THE POST:
My first post of October, so this is obviously the only appropriate song choice. Duh.



See you around,
Flo x


Sunday, 7 September 2014

Recipe: Apple-cinnamon cake



This is the first 'baking' recipe that I've come up with 100% on my own, and surprising it tastes pretty damn good, and isn't very sludge-like if I do say so myself (wow, really selling the recipe here). It's already been made 4 times in my house over the course of a month. It's sweet, but not too sickly and is a little more loaf-like than your average cake. I really hope you enjoy it; if you do end up making it please do leave me a mini comment-review, or even email me some pictures at prettylittlethingstodo@gmail.com. That would absolutely make my day.
 --
(vegan substitution options given)
INGREDIENTS:
- 3 large apples (ideally cooking, but whatever you have lying around your house is fine. Don't worry about imperfections, they can be cut off. I use apples from our tree in the garden)
- Ground cinnamon, the actual recipe uses about 5 tsp worth but I recommend having more since you will get carried away. Trust me.
- 220g granulated sugar (brown is yummy if you have it, but go on what you have in your cupboard. Also vanilla sugar is delicious, if you happen to make some).
- 220g unsalted butter/ margarine/ vegan spread (I used 20% Lidl vegtable oil spread to 80% Pure vegan spread)
- 220g self raising flour/ plain flour with 2 heaped tsp baking powder.
- 3 eggs/ egg substitute of your choice (1 1/2 bananas/ 6tsp baking powder/ 6tbsp warm water for this recipe. Feel free to use any other one you prefer)
- 1tsp vanilla extract. Once again feel free to use more. You will get carried away and it'll be delicious.
- Extra sugar of your choice for stewing apples

(preheat oven to 180*c)

METHOD:

 

1) To start you'll want to stew your apples. To do this take your 3 large apples and peel them, and then- using a small knife- cut into medium- sized chunks. Try not to make them too small or they'll turn to mush when you stew them. I like to cut each apple into thirds, then split the thirds in half, and cut those halves into three chunks. Mathematically that's eighteenths (I think) (you're welcome).
2) Place them apple chunks into a large-ish pan and add half a cup of water, 3tsp of ground cinnamon powder, and 4 heaped teaspoons of the sugar of your choice. Make sure the apples are evenly coated and then leave to stew on a medium heat for 7-10 minutes. They're done when they can be crushed under a fairly light pressure and are no longer crisp. You want them to be soft, not quite at the mushy-fluff stage. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool.



3) Now you can start on the actual cake batter: Begin by creaming together the butter/ butter substitute and sugar of your choice. No food processors for this recipe! It shouldn't take too long, but you want it to become fluffy.
4) Add in the eggs/ egg substitute and the vanilla extract and mix until thoroughly combined.
5) Fold in your self-raising flour or plain flour + baking powder mix and fold in, making sure there are no lumps.
6) Add in the stewed apples and a couple of teaspoons of additional cinnamon. Fold into the mixture, being careful not to crush the apples, or the batter will become too wet and soggy. If you think there's too many apples to put it all in pour any additional stewed cinnamon-apple mix into some tightly sealed tupperware and keep in fridge for reheating and eating on bagels/ toast for breakfast (om).
7) Grease and line a 10" cake tin and carefully pour the batter in. Or if you are like me get 10% of the mix in and 90% over the counter (sorry mum). Alternitevly you can split the mixture between two smaller tins, depending on the kind of cake you want. The single bigger cake will look better in the middle of a table, for example, but the two smaller cakes are probably better for lunch boxes or freezing until needed.
8) Place tin(s) into the pre-heated oven. It should take about 30 minutes, since it's a pretty deep cake and relatively wet mixture, however this can vary so feel free to check for -10- minutes on either side of the recommended time. Obviously if you've split the mixture it shouldn't take as long so check around the 15-20 minute mark.
9) When it's fully cooked through, remove from the oven; allow it to cool off for around 10 minutes and remove from tin onto plate of your choice. If it's going to be eaten pretty soon sprinkle some granulated sugar on top for a rustic look. Enjoy and feel free to show off how next-level your baking skillz are to anyone who'll listen.

The result!


Song of the post:
I saw these guys play at In the Woods festival and it was incredibly, they were definately one of my favourite acts there, kinda alt-j ish but with a little more of an ambient vibe I suppose. Anyway, great band, have a listen.




As always, thanks for reading
Flo x