It’s hard to be chic when the weather is sabotaging your every sartorial decision but a nifty summer jacket (yes, nifty) has a way of sticking it to the stupid rain clouds. Right now the baseball jacket, aka varsity jacket, is doing a good job of keeping out the high-summer hypothermia without making us look like hermetic loons and it’s hard work is being rewarded with catwalk and side-walk sightings of the most stylish kind. Even for those lucky duckers living in a country where frostbite isn’t a year-round concern there’s a lot to be said for a colourful topper that can see you through the transitional seasons without turning all wintry Sporty enough to be devoid of any blazer connotations and smart enough to dodge hoodie territory, the baseball jacket always hits a homerun. Actually, we don’t get baseball in Ireland so I’m not sure if I used that term correctly. How about, the baseball jacket always gets to third base? Yes, yes that will do nicely. Behold.
The foul mouthed folks over at Good Fucking Design Advice have created some poster prints and homewares with a rather lovely message (laced with rather bold profanities). Serving as encouragement for late night creatives and frazzled designers, GFDA’s wall-worthy prints are the result of a collaboration between former classmates Brian Buirge and Jason Bacher. My favourite is the black on white print, above, but those with younglings about may be interested in this brilliantly censored version, below.
Or perhaps this to-the-point version is more up your street. Like the first, this is also available in rather sexy black on black print.
And if you need a more portable method of remembering the message, perhaps a sweary mug will help. These not-suitable-for-work mugs are just the thing for getting your fucking dedication and inspiration across to the rest of the office.
Posters start at €12 and the mugs are €12.50. Visit the Good Fucking Design Advice store for more.
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So I’ve been a little slow on posts lately but naturally the cocktails keep on coming. Today’s cocktail is a rose tea mojito, made all the prettier if you happen to nab some tea made from rosebuds. I’m not sure if this is going to be the last cocktail I feature made with tea as the mixer; the options are endless, it’s pretty cheap and it sounds quite fancy, so why let it go? Instead of being a decent alternative to fresh juices in a pinch, which is how I saw it at the beginning of the month, I’ve since decided that tea is an all too overlooked cocktail hero. And yes, the yummily rosed up rum is doing some of the sweet talking here.
The rose bud mojito is pretty easy to make and if you know you’re way around a mojito, the main difference is that you’re using rose tea to top the muddled mint and lime instead of club soda. It’s worth remembering that rose is quite a delicate flavour so go easy on the lime and mint and if you can, opt for the sweeter peppermint. This would be a lovely cocktail for weddings or hen nights but I’m just going to use the prettiness as a distraction from how much I’m guzzling. Which is exactly what I look for in a drink for weddings or hen nights.
Finally, a blisteringly sunny day in Ireland. Yes, we reached a balmy 17 Celsius today; read it and weep, rest of the world. Good thing today’s Boozeday is a particularly summery one then. Earl grey tea has won a place in a few different cocktails thanks to it’s not-so-subtle citrus and floral yumminess. The bergamot flavour goes great with orange, both in aromatherapy and cocktailtherapy, and gin is the natural kicker when it comes to cooling down. Add plenty of ice and you’ve got yourself the Orange and Earl Grey Gin Cooler. Enjoy, I’m off to ice my sunburn, if you know what I mean.
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Gym dodgers, biscuit botherers and lazy lumps rejoice; according to the American College of Sports and Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal a well rounded workout can be nailed in 7 short and painful minutes. The article, rather uncatchily called High-intensity circuit training using body Weight: Maximum Results with Minimal Investment, outlines 12 high-intensity exercises that can be performed with nothing more than body weight, a wall and a chair. The New York Times points out that “a few minutes of training at an intensity approaching your maximum capacity produces molecular changes within muscles comparable to those of several hours of running or bike riding.” In other words, slogging it out in the gym for hours is for suckers, 7 minutes of hell can produce many of the benefits of hours of endurance training. An important part of performing these exercises is the interval part and throwing the shapes in the order provided, as well as giving yourself a 10 second breather between each burst, is a must. This, this I like.
The graphics that have accompanied the many articles covering this revelation have been a little lacklustre so instead of actually performing these moves I decided to create this somewhat more wall-worthy printable poster. Mine’s going up on the bathroom door so I’ll have no excuse not to throw some shapes before I hit the shower. To print, click on the image and save to your desktop and print from there or send it to your local printers.
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Continuing on the the herbal tea cocktail vibe we kicked off last week, this week I’ve mixed calming chamomile tea with crazy-inducing tequila and a dash of lime to create a super refreshing tequila sour. You’re going to have to make a simple sugar syrup for this, trust me, it’s easier than it sounds and worth the little effort. As the recipe below says, mix 2 parts sugar with 1 part water and bring to the boil, stir until the sugar has dissolved (less than 5 minutes) and take off the heat. It will thicken up nicely when it cools and can be kept in the fridge for up to a month, or six months if you add some vodka. By the way, if you’re not a fan of chamomile, you could replace it with another floral tea like lotus or jasmine but I suggest giving it a try in this devilish form. After all, what in life isn’t improved with a kick of tequila?
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Lettered and Lined‘s instructional prints are perhaps the most stylish ways of remembering how to make the perfect cuppa, wash the laundry or convert tablespoons to teaspoons. Seriously, had our Home Ec. books looked this good we’d never have had to cry over split silk. If arting up the kitchen or laundry room feels like a step too far, these instructionals could be just the thing; stylish enough to cheer up proceedings but functional to earn their keep. Check out the Lettered and Lined Etsy store for more of this informative creativity. Single prints cost €18 and sets of two are €33.
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If there is one thing I need to remember this summer it’s that herbal and fruit teas make delicigasm cocktail mixers. Forget sweating it when you run out of juice or fizz, just click the kettle on, brew your fruity tea and keep the party rocking. The best part is that herbal teas make things sound fancy, like this, the Pear Tea and Strawberry Mojito. See what I mean? This one’s super easy to put together too, just make sure you give yourself enough time to let the tea cool and be gentle when muddling – a few chunks are totally acceptable in a mojito and I will roundhouse anyone who says otherwise. To kick off summer I’m going to be focussing on a different herbal tea each week this month, so stay tuned.
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Best known for their heavy-handed branding and deal-with-the-devil scale celebrity endorsements Louis Vuitton have a long heritage of creating really beautiful luggage (for really wealthy people – a cosmetics pouch costs around €250). Having started out making transport and storage boxes for the dresses bought in the ateliers of Paris in the late 1800s, LV has grown to become one of the most formidable names in fashion; it makes up the LV part of billion-dollar luxury goods multi-conglomerate LVMH whose mammoth subsidiaries include Dior, Fendi, Givenchy and Marc Jacobs to name but a few. Sure, the ubiquitous LV monogrammed luggage isn’t to everyone’s taste – or is to everyone’s taste as the case may be given that it’s been “borrowed” to create everything from bootleg rolling papers and condoms to tattoos and toilet seats – but with more than 200 years of experience, we can probably trust Louis Vuitton’s advice when it comes to packing.
Going beyond the great Fold or Roll debate (fold shirts and jackets, roll trousers, apparently) the company has produced a series of super stylish tutorials on how to pack like an obsessive compulsive on meth. The latest instalment of the Art of Packing series, below, features the folding of a jacket and jeans in the most hypnotically beautiful manner. Or maybe that’s just the crank talking.
My favourite is this 30-second lesson on how to fold shirts by interlacing them. Again, it probably sounds terribly dull, but much like those videos that demonstrate how to fold a tee in two seconds, it’s weirdly mesmerizing. Of course the subtle stylishness of the videos belies the fact that this is a company with millions of dollars, interns and favours at their disposal, so really, they’d want to be nailing it.
And that they do. The videos serve not only as master classes on folding and stowing stuff but as a lesson in simple yet detailed tutorial making. With literally millions of tutorials on YouTube, not to mention the tutorial-based sites like eHow and Howcast, the notion of passing your wisdom on to others online has become less and less of an art-form and more of a self-congratulatory free-for-all. I’m not dissing the brave souls that post instructionals, anyone who puts themselves out there like that is good in my book, but perhaps some heavily funded videos like these that rely on clean, stylish visuals and concise, pared down information – as opposed to glossy models giggling in slick locations (ahemVictoriasSecretahemhem) – will offer some constructive inspiration for the bedroom have-a-go-heroes out there. If nothing else, the fact that the videos are of a watchable length (they’re all blessedly under two minutes) and rely on visuals over language adds enormously to their for potential mass appeal. This 30 second video, that details how to use trousers to fold your coat, is a good example of just that.
Speaking of inspiration, I’m not sure if still fashion photographer Carl Kleiner has anything to with this video, some gentle research would suggest he didn’t, but there’s certainly a lot have his influence in the photography. So, you know, don’t feel bad for copying Louis Vuitton’s approach, they were probably riffing off Carl Kleiner. Either way, these are some solid tutorials that may not get you any closer to owning the luggage, but at least we can say our packing is Louis Vuitton. Close enough, close enough.
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Eat, drink and be merry they say, but how about combining all three in one single serving of cakiness? Forcing your buns to get drunk is the way of getting your cupcake on this year. Delicious, dangerous and thanks to the memory wiping capabilities, completely diet-friendly. Hurray! Here’s my pick of the best caketails out there.
Chocolate and whiskey is a bit like caramel and salt; it needs to be tasted to be believed. Get the recipe from The Kitchen Prep.
When life gives you limes, make margaritas. When life gives you margaritas, make these deliciously zingy cupcakes. Learn how over at Tide and Thyme.
I’m a little cupcake, short and filled with stout. If you’ve ever tasted a chocolate Guinness cake, you’ll know these mini versions are a good idea. My Baking Addiction has the recipe.
Another whiskey entry. I couldn’t resist, this little beauty is topped with a caramel-whiskey popcorn and I am only human. Get the recipe from My Baking Addiction.
Champagne and cupcakes have always been a delicigasm combo for me, but this? This I could live in. Happily. Sprinkle Bakes has the recipe.
Now this is how one celebrates summer. And mojitos. And cupcakes. Get the vegan recipe from Brown Sugar Bee.
You need to make a cosmopolitan to make these cupcakes. One for me, one for cupcake…The Novice Chef has the recipe.
Finally, a cupcake fit for the Dude.This isn’t the easiest one, but man, this just has to taste amazing. Get the recipe from The Food Network.
Unless you speak Spanish you’re going to have to suffer Google’s jarrign translation to make this one but, come on, a G&T cupcake! Recetine Agaya‘s got the recipe.
This one is made with a vodka creamer…the possibilities are as endless as they are delicious. Get the recipe from Grace’s Sweet Life.
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