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Thursday 28 February 2013

Thanks for the Memory...

Cocktail rings move over, there's a new breed of jewel candy in town. Teeny, tiny, delicate and super flattering, make way for the memory ring...


Designed to fit the top half of your finger, memory rings can be worn solo or stacked and if you fancy changing things up a liitle, you can always wear them on your little finger instead. For months now I've seen these rings popping up on Pinterest, Instagram and various fashion blogs, but I'd struggled to find where I could get my mitts on my very own slice of the memory ring action.

Deciding that it was time for a jewellery shake up, I got down to some serious googling a couple of weeks ago and managed to track down a whole raft of memory rings. I decided to start by just dipping a toe into the trend, so a couple of weeks ago I ordered up a pair of super cheap rings from Etsy.




When my package arrived on Friday I'd all but forgotten about my little memory ring spree. Ripping open the envelope, my two little rings rolled out and it was love at first sight, I pretty much haven't taken them off since! New fashion obsession well and truly discovered, now all I need to decide is which piece to add to my growing collection next...

Loud Love Jewelry Victory Diamond Ring
US$50



Old Hollywood Dalla Ring
US$32



Scosha Gold Origin Memory Ring
US$160



Odette Klaia Ring
US$105




CatBirdnyc Tomboy First Knuckle Ring
US$138




The Hunted Few First Knuckle Rings
US$20



Feeling crafty? Why not DIY yourself a memory ring. Check out the A Pair & A Spare step by step guide to making these bad boys.


Image via: www.apairandasparediy.com


Wednesday 27 February 2013

3BM Competition - XOXO Gossip Girl...

So whilst us Mice were away sunning ourselves in drop dead gorgeous Sri Lanka, Lucinda Mouse bid a tearful farewell to the legendary TV series, Gossip Girl - sob! To mark the end of the fashion fuelled series we took a retrospective look at the most iconic fashion moments from the past six seasons which made us want to go back and watch from the very beginning all over again! We also marked the occasion by offering two 3BM readers the chance of bagging themselves the complete GG series, the competition is still open so if you haven't entered DO! See competition details at the end of this post.

In the spirit of a final all-singing-all-dancing send off, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate the most shocking and jaw dropping Manhattan Elite scandals. 

*SPOLIER ALERT* If you haven't watched all six seasons we suggest you close your eyes and skip right to the end of this post for details of how to bag your boxset and get yourself up to speed...!

We just can’t seem to let go ... from Blair running out on her dream wedding to her handsome Prince, to Rufus hooking up with teenager Charlie, the series has seen more shock hook up's and break up’s than we thought possible! 3BM's rundown of the top five GG moments of all time include...

No.1
Blair FINALLY found her perfect French Prince Louis and was all set to swap New York for the Parisian lifestyle, as she’d always dreamt. Happily ever after was too damn easy and dull for B though and instead she dramatically runs out on her own wedding, leaving poor Louis at the altar and all for Dan Humphrey ... shocker! 


No.2
Way back in series one, Serena and Nate hooked up on the bar at the Shepherd wedding. If that wasn’t scandalous enough, Nate was with Blair at the time - naughty naughty...


No.3
When Blair was late meeting Chuck at the top of the Empire State Building. Devastated, Chuck fell into the arms of troubled Jenny Humphrey, resulting in the loss of her 'big V'!


No.4
One of the most stomach turning moments, had to be when Rufus hooked up with fake-Ivy (Charlie) after splitting up with Lily. Ewww!


No.5
The ultimate Ooh Ahh moment in the Gossip Girl finale, when Serena and Dan tie the knot! Despite their on-going will-they won’t they status, and the hurdle of being a former step-brother and sister, we all breathed a sigh of relief when they finally said 'I do' - ahhhhhh!


If you haven't already entered, this is your last chance with the competition closing at 6pm GMT this Friday 1st March. As a reminder, all you have to do is answer the following question and email the answer to: themice@3badmice.com

What is Gossip Girl’s sign off?
1. XOXO
2. Kisses
3. Lots of Love

*COMPETITION CLOSED & WINNERS ANNOUNCED*

Gossip Girl: The Complete Season 6 and Gossip Girl: The Complete Series are available to own on DVD now


Tuesday 26 February 2013

The 3BM Kitchen: Cod & Spring Onion Stew...

There's nothing quite like being all snug on a Sunday evening, curled up on the sofa, catching up on the week's TV and tucking into a home cooked dinner! If you can keep the Monday morning fear at bay there isn't much to complain about...except of course slaving away in the kitchen. 

This is definitely something the majority of us took for granted growing up...every evening a different home cooked plate of goodness appeared in front of us, prepared lovingly whilst we kicked back in front of 'Round the Twist', 'Blind Date' and 'Gladiators'. At the time it seemed nothing more than a given from your parents, where as now, I fully appreciate the effort, thought and energy this must have taken along with doing cleaning, washing and ironing for an entire family...I struggle with just my own!  

Anyway our solution to this is easy recipes that taste divine...the cooking time might be over an hour but preparation time is very minimal, once everything is chopped and in the pan, you can happily let it bubble away whilst you get to grips with the latest episode of Revenge!  

Here's one we made a few Sundays ago and I would highly recommend it, it's absolutely delicious! 

Jamie Oliver's Cod and Spring Onion Stew 


Ingredients - serves 4-6 

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped 
1 leek, washed and finely sliced 
Extra virgin olive oil 
2 medium courgettes, halved length ways 
1 kg potatoes, peeled 
2 anchovies 
1 wineglass white wine 
565 ml milk 
565 ml organic stock 
1 kg cod fillet, skinned and pin-boned 
Salt 
Freshly ground black pepper 
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped 
1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced 
Juice of ½ lemon
1 Orange

Method

1. In a large pan, fry your onion and leek with approx 5 tablespoons of olive oil  until soft and tender (approx 5 minutes). 

2. With a teaspoon, remove the fluffy tasteless core from the courgettes and grate the rest into the pan. 



3. Chop the potatoes into rough 2cm cubes and add to the pan. Give everything a good stir and then add the anchovies. 


4. Turn the heat up and add the wine, cook down by at least half before adding your milk and stock. 

Bring to the boil and simmer for half an hour until the potatoes are tender. 

5. Once tender, add your cod and simmer for a further 15 minutes until the flesh flakes away; feel free to stir and break up the fish, but it's quite nice to leave some big chunks as well. 



6. Season carefully to taste, divide between your bowls and serve with a small handful of parsley and spring onion dressed with a little olive oil and lemon juice.




7. Optional: sprinkle some orange zest over the parsley and spring onion - it tastes amazing and works really well with the cod - definitely a must I think! 


ENJOYYYYY!!


Monday 25 February 2013

Oscars Fashion 2013: Perfect Post-Holiday Pick Me Up

The Mice are home. 

No more lazing on beaches, leopard spotting or drinking cocktails at lunchtime... We're swapping our bikinis and flip flops for opaque tights and snuggly jumpers. We're once more divided by 5,995 miles. And to top it all off we have suitcases to unpack, washing to do and approximately 6 billion unanswered emails to deal with...UGH! Oh and did we mention it's Monday... A combination guaranteed to make even the most happy, smiley girl a miserable whiner.

Guaranteed that is, unless Monday morning just happens to be the morning after the Oscars... Cue a deluge of sparkly, beautiful red carpet gown photographs aka hours of hardcore fashion porn! 

What better way to pick yourself up than poring over pictures of the world's most beautiful people decked out in hundreds of thousands of pounds' worth of couture, diamonds and beautiful shoes? 

Feeling a bit chubby after all that holiday indulgence? Tan beginning to peel? How about a bit of OMGing over the fact that even the richest, skinniest stars get it a little bit wrong when it comes to picking from all the fabulous, free dresses being thrown at them by designers?

So on this dreary, dull old Monday we'd like to say a huge thank you to the Academy for making our first day back in the real world just about bearable. And as a little token of our thanks we've attempted to power up our lazy, sun-soaked brains to pull together a list of all the stars who made up swoon, retch and scratch our heads in puzzlement... Our writing's going to take a few more days to get itself in gear but hey, pictures speak a thousand words and all that... 

The Ones we Loved

Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior Couture

Image via: www.huffingtonpost.com
 
Naomi Watts in Armani Prive

Image via: www.huffingtonpost.com

Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta

Image via: www.dailymail.co.uk

Stacy Keibler in Naeem Khan

Image via: www.glamour.com

Salma Hayek in Alexander McQueen

Image via: www.dailymail.co.uk

Anne Hathaway at the Vanity Fair Party in Saint Lauren

Image via: www.dailymail.co.uk


Lily Collins at the Vanity Fair Party in Zuhair Murad

Image via: www.yahoo.com

Natalie Portman at the Vanity Fair Party in Christian Dior

Image via: www.yahoo.com

Kate Bosworth at the Vanity Fair Party in Giambattista Valli 

Image via: www.mydaily.co.uk

The Ones we Loathed

Renee Zellweger in Carolina Herrera

Image via: www.dailymail.co.uk

Brandi Glanville (yup, us neither...) in her own design

Image via: www.dailymail.co.uk

Kristen Stewart in Reem Acra
(nothing wrong with the dress itself but it's just ill-fitting, unflattering and she generally looks like she's been dragged through a hedge backwards...)

Image via: www.dailymail.co.uk

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley at the Vanity Fair Party in Valentino

Image via: www.mydaily.co.uk

Faye Dunaway at the Vanity Fair Party

Image via: www.dailymail.co.uk

The Ones that gave us De Ja Vu...

Amada Seyfried in Alexander McQueen and the Dowager Countess (we think it's the hair...)

Images via: www.huffingtonpost.com and www.rollingstone.com

Jessica Chastain in Armani Prive and the Oscars Statuette

Images via: www.huffingtonpost.com and www.oscars.org

Jennifer Aniston in Valentino and all the girls in Red Dresses at the Globes...

Images via: www.usmagazine.co.uk and www.fashiondetective.co.uk

All in all, a few breath-takers but an awful lot of meh. 

Last week we drooled over the Marchesa fall RTW collection but were disappointed with the Marchesa gowns selected last night by Olivia Munn and Fan Bing Bing. We had our money on the red carpet being awash with stunning Elie Saab Couture but Sandra Bullock's safe Saab number was the only one that we spied.

And last but not least, we were disappointed with the lack of capes. Gwyneth rocked a Tom Ford cape last year and the swooshy cover-ups dominated the Couture catwalks a couple of weeks ago, yet only old marigolds Dunaway whipped one out last night. Sad times.

In good news though, we're loving the back-lace. We're definitely going to be channeling J-Law and Anne Hathaway and only wearing our rocks back to front this season...

Image via: www.glamour.com

Friday 22 February 2013

On the 3BM iPod: Wild Child...

Let me introduce you to the playful and super spirited indie-folk sensation Wild Child. An Austin Texas seven-piece band who made their debut back in 2011 with their exceptional first album Pillow Talk. 



The heart of Wild Child sits with guy-girl folk duo, Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Beggins. I was first introduced to their quirky and original sound via my music guru friend Nat, who is my go-to person for amazing music recommendations. I have since looked into the bands' background and journey and have learnt that their story is one of pure self-made, awe-inspiring success.

Wild Child made their first album through cobbling together money, borrowing instrumental gear from pals and recording it all themselves. 

A few fun facts about Wild Child...
  • All Pillow Talk album songs share three common themes : Love, Sleeping & Dreaming
  • Instrumentals are made up of unusual instruments and unconventional percussion including the ukulele, bells and wait for it ... hand claps!
  • The song Pillow Talk was written on the floor of Kelsey's bedroom and took a mere 30 minutes to create 
The harmonies, melodies and sweet vocals are captivating and undeniably catchy. The perfect music to wake you up slowly and soothingly or to send you to sleep with the promise of sweet dreams. 

My personal fav is the beautiful yet intense track The Tale Of You & Me - check it out here...


The Pillow Talk title track is also pretty awesome in a heartbreaking kind of way! It follows the sad tale of a failing relationship representative of both sides of the story...


I dare you to listen and not be hooked immediately. Following their journey and success via their website and Facebook page. 

Thursday 21 February 2013

NYC Comes To London

We've been getting all excited about the New York restaurant/nightlife invasion on this side of the pond for some time. Over the last year or so London outposts of the best of NYC scene have started popping up and we just can't seem to get enough of them with the latest opening of Balthazar this week and Shake Shack set to open mid-2013. Here's our run down of our of top five:

Balthazar

Keith McNally's New York institution Balthazar has finally opened in Covent Garden. Open all day so it's perfect for breakfast meetings through to the perfect date night. The menu features classic French brasserie dishes with a focus on seafood - totally up our street. We'll be making a reservation for a lazy weekend brunch followed by a spot of shopping very soon.

image via Londonlovesbusiness.com
From New York's nightlife King, Serge Becker (behind The Box and La Esquina) and Will Ricker (E&O) comes La Bodega Negra, Soho's answer to Mexicana street food. Featuring two areas accessed through separate entrances on different streets -  upstairs features a buzzing walk-in bar and cafe and the hidden downstairs a more dark and delicious dining experience. We've tried out both and recommend you do too - but we loved the downstairs diner hidden behind a neon-lit sex shop facade, it mirrors the speak-easy secret (a bar through the kitchen) of it's NY sister La Esquina. Serving mouthwatering tacos, tostadas, guacamole and (on the evening we went) the most amazing marinaded steak with chimichurri - this the perfect place for a dinner date. Oh.... and did we mention the margaritas?


image via squaremeal.co.uk


Shake Shack
Almost 10 years after it first opened its doors in Madison Square Park in New York, the Shake Shack is finally set to open it's first London outpost in mid-2013... and we cannot wait! Tipped as a modern day "roadside" burger stand known for its delicious all-natural (phew no horse here!) burgers, flat-top dogs, frozen custard (you gotta try it!) - this burger joint has earned a cult-following Stateside and we will be first in line when its doors swing open in Covent Garden.

image via lovingmyjetlag.blogspot.com

The Spice Market
Set in the heart the achingly cool meatpacking district in New York, this has been a New York destination for years with a old-world feel. When it came over to London with the opening of the W Hotel and got an infusion of modern cool reflective of the architecture of the W. It's situated on the edge of Soho and close to the heart of Leicester Square. Serving pan-Asian food from chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten - we opted for the tasting menu to share and our favourite dishes were Black Pepper Shrimp with Sun Dried Pineapple, Spiced Chicken Samosas, Coriander Yoghurt (which stole the show) followed by Cod with Malaysian Chilli Sauce, Thai Basil and Celery and amazing House Made Ice Creams and Sorbets. A little on the pricey side for the amount of food served, we did leave a little hungry, but impeccable service and it's definitely jam-packed with high-octane glamour. Great for a client lunch or dinner!


image via spicemarketlondon.co.uk

The Box
Arguably the Daddy of New York's mysterious and secretive night life... The Box hit London back in 2011 and has held onto the same mystique and appeal over here.  Pipped as the Theatre of Varieties - this cabaret nightclub is renowned for some of the most risqué entertainment and frivolity! It's not for the faint-hearted or the early to bed, the show starts at 1am. You'll need to be prepared to spend a fair amount (drinks aren't cheap)- but we've heard great reviews and will be sure to be booking our table in the near future.

 image via cosmopolitan.co.uk

Wednesday 20 February 2013

From films on fridges to a floating cinema pop-up cinemas

From films on fridges to a floating cinema pop-up cinemas are popping up everywhere around the UK. Here's a few of our favourites...pass the popcorn...   

Future Cinema aims to bring to life films as eye-poppingly, breathtaking multi-sensory, immersive experiences that draw the audience into the magical world of the film.

Past experiences have involved real-life splat gun fights at Fat Sam's for Bugsy Malone, re-creating those summer nights at Rydell High for a Grease reunion (below) and - last Friday - transporting the audience back in time to 1940's Morocco for a special Valentine's screening of Casablanca.       

Future Cinema Presents Grease
Image via: www.the-gild.com

After many outfit changes I finally found my inner Ingrid (Bergman) and plumped for a pencil skirt, seamed tights, vintage heels, trench coat and fedora and hit the Troxy. We were met by a line-up of fierce Moroccan guards and escorted down an eerily lit corridor humming with the hustle and bustle of a busy market.         

Then wham! We stepped into the legendary Rick's American Cafe and were catapulted right back to the forties. The cafe was buzzing with hundreds of sharp-suited guys and girls channeling Bogart and Hepburn - everyone had made a huge effort to look the part and were cooly sipping Champagne Paris 75 cocktails around black jack tables.   
   
As with all Future Cinema events the devil is in the detail with so much thought going into the costumes, lighting and music - there was even a dancer with a live python!  


Launch

After (a few too) many Paris 75 cocktails served in beautiful vintage glasses, a couple of unsuccessful hands of black jack, some tiny portions Tagine (the only disappointing element of the evening as they were pricey and super small) we settled down to watch the film - an all time classic the atmosphere and theatre around us made this epic movie really come to life.

By the time the credits rolled we were ready for some fabulous forties fun on the dancefloor to the live swing band playing a medley of hits - from old blue eyes to some bad ass big band tunes that had everyone spinning and swinging around.

We finally dragged ourselves away from dance-floor and into the reality of the last tube home to bed with tired feet but happy hearts. What's great about Future Cinema is that it really does give you everything you want from a night out in just one night in one place - food (ok that wasnt the best bit but we were fed), cocktails, a great film, music and dancing! It's not cheap at £50 a ticket but I'd pay it again Sam (sorry!) This is the start of a friendship that is definitely going to carry on and on.

There are great pop-up cinemas all round the UK, including Darkened Rooms in Wales and the Any Given Sunday film screenings in South Shields and you can check out some others here

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Perfect Pub Grub

As honorary Mouse whilst the 3BM's sun themselves in sunny Sri Lanka, I thought I'd take the opportunity to share my favourite locals that are on my West London doorstep.

The real gem of W6 and worth a trip out West to visit. This is a real local but with an incredible gastro twist. 


With a cosy pub front room, complete with velvet curtains, roaring fire and the odd piece of taxidermy - the Anglesea is the perfect pub pit-stop on a weekend afternoon or evening after work. Serving specialists Ales and a carefully selected wine list- there is definitely something to whet your whistle! Out the back is a exposed brick restaurant with large blackboards featuring the hand written menu, here there is plenty of light pouring in through the natural skylight, this is for a slightly more formal (but still super cosy) dining experience.




The atmosphere is great throughout but it is all about the food and the same mouthwatering menu is served in the pub front room and the restaurant, so you really just need to find your favourite seat.




Anglesea staples include a pint of prawns with rose marie sauce, oysters and a seasonal choice of Neal's Yard Cheeses (the three choices of food that had me at Hello!) but the wider menu varies daily with unusual but sturdy British dishes that will have you salivating.


Starters or lighter mains include home-made soup of the day (always delicious, Pumpkin and Rosemary today), unusual salads (Blood Orange, Feta, Alf Alfa Sprout and Hazelnut Bitterleaf salad) but on this occasion we opted for the Foie Gras Terrine, Onion Marmalade and Brioche.... it melted in our mouths.




Mains feature fish and then go heavy on meat and game - with partridge, rabbit and venison regular choices. Our Bream Fillet with Pink Fir Apple Potatoes, Fennel and Cauliflower Puree was perfect and the spoiling, winter combination of Lamb Loin and Shepherd's Pie (yes together in one dish!) was spot on for a cold February evening.




Puddings include cheese and the homemade ice-cream selection with unusual flavours such as red wine ... it's really actually very good.


Nearest tube: Ravenscourt Park (7 min walk)


From the founders of now closed down North London gem, The Engineer, The Hampshire Hog opened in Hammersmith in Autumn 2011. Pitched as 'pub and pantry' the Hog (as it's affectionately known) combines the two effortlessly and with the big light windows, white washed finishing, wooden floors and country style floral displays scattered around - it certainly feels more pantry than pub, and is the perfect choice  for your Saturday brunch.





We popped in for dinner last week and were spoilt for choice with the apertif's menu  - Hot Buttered Rum or Guinness or a Sipsmith Negroni - opting for the local Gin mix we weren't disappointed. We also loved our starter of Arbroath smokie and Cheese Souffle, Tomato Chutney and Balsamic, followed by Pan-fried Seabass, Bubble + Squeak and Sauce Vierge. We were also tempted by the delicious sounding Herb Gnocchi, Roasted Winter Veg, Berkswell and Pine Nuts and the sharing boards of harcuterie and vegetables..... we will have to head back soon to satisfy our curiosity.


Nearest tube: Ravenscourt Park (4 min walk) or Hammersmith (8 min walk)

The Princess Victoria
Looking for that elusive perfect Sunday Roast? Then look no further, The Princess Victoria has got Sundays covered. With one of the best Bloody Mary mixes we've tasted (spicy with plenty of horseradish), a stack of Sunday papers, a yummy Scotch egg to share for starters and a pink, tender Roast Beef with lots of delicious trimmings (cauliflower cheese, greens and the crispiest roasties) means we come back again and again.



Elegant decor in slate grey set off against the high-ceilings with the tables in bar seated around the central horse-shoe shaped bar. There is a bigger 'restaurant' room adjacent to the bar area, with tables of all shapes and sizes but it is the fantastic huge diner in the middle that seats around 20 that has caught our eye for good ol' get together.


Nearest tube: Shepherd's Bush (15-20 min walk) - or much easier hop on the bus down Uxbridge Road