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Monday 31 March 2014

On the 3BM Bookshelf: March

It's Monday. 

It's the start of a new week.

Maybe it should also be your cue to go to your bookshelf, crack the spine on a brand new book... 

If you're looking for a little bookspiration, here's what we've had our noses in this month...

If you're looking for some fluff with a dash of drama and suspense this is a perfectly nice way to while away a few hours. Not groundbreaking stuff, but you probably aren't reading a book about a fifteen year old girl shipped off to riding camp after a mysterious scandal at home if you want a literary masterpiece... Set in thirties America and packed with horses, school dances and clandestine affairs - all good rainy Sunday afternoon fodder. 

The Man Who Forgot His Wife - John O'Farrell

I read and loved John O'Farrell's The Best A Man Can Get and This Is Your Life years and years ago but had pretty much forgotten how brilliantly readable and hilariously funny his books are until I started reading his latest book, The Man Who Forgot His Wife. 

One Day Vaughan emerges from a tunnel on a train on the way to Heathrow but can't remember why he's on the train, where he's just come from or even what his name is. It transpires that some catastrophic event has completely wiped his mind and he's back to factory settings. As he gradually starts to piece everything back together it transpires he's married to a beautiful, funny, clever woman, the only catch? He's at the final stages of divorcing her and he really can't understand why.

I devoured this book in one sitting - laughed out loud, had a little cry and resolved that I need more John O'Farrell in my life (May Contain Nuts on my must read list).  

I had this book recommended to me ages ago and I'm now going to recommend it to anyone and everyone myself. Quite simply a brilliant, brilliant book.

Egan's 2010 novel is made up of a cobweb of interlinked stories each told from the perspective of a new character all woven together by a thread which is sometimes loose at best. The people narrating the stories take us from LA to New York to some unknown country controlled by a dictator in a fluffy blue hat. We hop backwards and forwards through forty years and gradually piece together a narrative from snapshots of people's lives. While this may sound confusing, it really isn't at all. It's nostalgic and beautiful and incredibly clever and I really can't say much more than go and read it immediately!

Friday 28 March 2014

This Week The Mice Have Mostly Been

Well, at the risk of scaring you off before you've finished the first sentence, this week has been an incredibly, incredibly dull week in Miceland... 

Well, it has in Hong Kong anyway. This Mouse has mostly been slaving away over stacks and stacks and stacks of documents. I hate whinging, so I'm not going to. But, let's just say, I've been going to bed every night this week at the sorts of times you usually only see when you've had fifteen Jager Bombs and a round or six of vodka jelly shots... Which given that it's Rugby Sevens week in Hong Kong, is exactly what my week should have been filled with. 

But, no Rugby for me, as I type this, I'm currently on a little lunch break, the first I've taken this week, and one I'm only rewarding myself because I miss the blog and I have now been awake and working non-stop for twenty nine hours and counting - so I'm basically feeling like this...

But because blogging about wanting to sleep is even duller than whining about work, here's a very brief canter through what's been keeping me sane during a pretty hellish week...

Nails Inc Gel Effect Polish
If you have to sit on a call at gone 10pm, you may as well be doing something useful while you're listening... And if you're going to spend the next six hours watching your fingers flying across a keyboard, they may as well be pretty! I did a bit of a Sephora minesweep while I was in New York last month (rest assured a full on beauty haul post is in the works) and this bad boy was one of many beauty bits I snapped up. This shade is Downtown - a deliciously juicy watermelon pink (I may also have popped the coral-tastic Kensington Passage in my basket too...). These aren't actual gel/shellac polishes (see the London Mice's post on DIY-Shellac brand, NK1, if that's what you're after) but they are super shiny and definitely look gel-esque on. Sadly, they don't quite last a couple of weeks like gel, but, as someone who usually gets chips a couple of hours after painting my nails, I can vouch for the fact that these last longer than your average polish. They are quite pricey, but the colours are fab and you get a gorgeously glossy salon-worthy mani - exactly what I needed on a desk bound, dull Wednesday!

Mermaid Candle
Another New York find, this time a luxe orange blossom scented candle which has been flickering away at the edge of my desk long into the night over the last few days. On our Williamsburg wanderings, we came across girlie heaven, Catbird nyc. While I was trying on stacks of rings and lusting over shelvesful of other pretty bit and bobs, I spied a candle called 'Mermaid' and was immediately smitten. One sniff and I was totally whipping-out-my-credit-card-quicker-than-you-can-say-'overdraft' sold! I'm now trying to eek it out for as long as humanly possible...

Pretty desk accessories
I zipped up to the flower market in Prince Edward a couple of weeks ago and couldn't resist picking up an orchid from a little shop stuffed to bursting with every conceivable variety. The pot it came in was a bit of an eyesore, so as soon as I got home I whipped him out of his old home out and planted him in an old Diptyque candle pot - a much chicer new pad! He now sits right beside my laptop and makes me happy whenever I catch a glimpse of him!  

And a Little Bit of YSL Love 
I first blogged about these YSL Love Postcards almost two years ago and I've finally got round to framing and hanging them above my desk. The perfect eye candy for work-weary peepers! 

I got my set courtesy of the very lovely Mandy in Morocco who if you ask her very nicely will ship you your very own postcard-shaped scraps of love wherever you are in the world!

And let's end on a sweet note - yet another NYC purchase - Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen's new perfume Nirvana White. The Fashionista sisters' new fragrance line comes in two varieties, a daytime White and a darker, sultrier, Black. I got drawn in by the adult version of sweets at the till while I was queuing to pay for the contents of my groaningly full Sephora shopping basket and snapped up this clutch-friendly rollerball version of White. I now wish I'd bagged the bigger version, I can't get enough of this clean, fresh peony amazingness - it's like spritz of spring whenever I spray it!

And with that I'm off to make a little bit more of a dent into the mountains of paperwork littering my desk... And then my friends, I have some pretty exciting Friday night plans which look a lot like this...

Happy Weekend!


The Mice
Thursday 27 March 2014

Saturday Night Dalston Delights...

A Saturday night out in my opinion is still THE occasion of the week! I always anticipate its arrival and it embrace it like no other. 


...than shopping for shoes, and you know how much I love shoes!

Don't get me wrong, Friday you're pretty fantastic too - with you comes the ability to finally let my hair down and be free of early morning wake-up dread playing on your mind. But Saturday, oh Saturday is a whole other ball game! 

A Great Saturday night is best started with a quiet day to build the big night out excitement and leave you rested, refreshed and raring to go come the evening. That, my friends, is exactly what I did last Saturday.

As you know we're only just back from Barbados so were in dire need of a mini holiday reunion with glam outfits and dancing! Sadly we were one Barbados baby down so the holiday gang was incomplete, but we made up for that by arranging to see Vanessa the next day for brunch - drama negated!

We started the evening off with a light yet fairly beasting prawn and avocado salad washed down with a spot of Verve Champs thanks to honorary holiday sis, Katie. 

Post-nosh we all started to get ready slowly - I sometimes enjoy the Saturday prep n preen more than the actual night out itself... but only when it's done properly! Cue the 'going out' Spotify playlist, more alcohol and a whole lot of 'what do you think of this skirt with this top', 'does my hair have enough volume' and 'are my eyes smokey enough' kind of questions!

After much mirror-hogging, hair backcombing and eyelash curling we were ready to hit East London. First stop – Oslo. The Hackney Nordic-inspired variety not the Norwegian capital itself! The music-centric venue opened in doors last November and ever since Mini mouse and I have been itching to check it out – Scandinavia is cool right now don’t you know! The two-storey bar is housed in the former 1870s railway station building and boasts serious dark vibes with exposed brick walls, sky-high ceilings and low-hanging industrial lighting. By day it’s dubbed a ‘hub to meet and eat’ and by night it's the place to be seen with some seriously solid live music going on.


1A Amhurst Road, 



E8 1LL 
020 3553 4831

We stayed for a few Hendricks and tonics but found the atmosphere a little laid-back for a Saturday night so take note - more a Friday feeling kind of place. What we were really after was some cheesy fun-loving music to liven things up and with that in mind… off we popped to the one and only Birthdays in Dalston! A sure thing when it comes to music that makes you scream ‘OMG I looooooooooooove this song’. We’ve been a few times before and always wake up the next day reminiscing about the fun had – the number one sign of a good night out! 

This outing was no exception with great music, delicious lychee cocktails AND they even had a bandana themed party going on… what more could you want? Having not received the bandana memo in advance, we got crafty on the spot and made our own napkin creations… 

33-35 Stoke Newington Road
N16 8BJ

020 7923 1680

And of course to finish the evening off in true style, we snapped a booze-infused elevator pic on the way up to our flat...

Great night had by all - the countdown to Saturday is ON (and has been since this one ended)! 

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Barbados in Pictures...

So, as promised a final Barbados post! 

A week back in London and it already seems like a distant dream. The only remedy? A little bit of reminiscing... We had such a super fun time - a holiday full to the brim of indulgence, laughter and relaxation. I sadly, had my beach bag stolen whilst away (boo hiss) which means that my SLR and all my photos were also swiped, so I don't have as many memories to share with you all as I'd hoped. However, the girls have rallied their cameras and phones together and we've collated a scrapbook of special moments between us. 

So what does two weeks in paradise consist of?

It all starts with having a base fit for four holiday-loving princesses. We luckily have family friends who own an apartment in Speightstown on the West Coast of Barbados so each time we go back we return to the same picturesque spot. It really is such a gorgeous space with everything and anything you could possibly need in an apartment let alone a holiday rental. Details here if you're interested.

Kicking back at the yacht club, drinking in the flawless 360 degree stunner of a view with the only heavy lifting being propping our heads up so that that  we can sip Piper champagne whilst reclining on our loungers...

Happily trialling the local delicacies - Banks beer and rotis. The beer of Barbados and curried chicken and potatoes encased in a buttery wrap of deliciousness. Best enjoyed under the shade of a palm tree, looking out at a killer view... 

Basking in the sunshine at Crane beach, rated one of the top 10 beaches in the world! That kind of achievement sums up all kinds of wonderfulness in your mind right? Well let me tell you it's every bit as spectacular as you're imagining, and a little bit more... Powder soft white sand, crashing turquoise surf and rugged Atlantic coastline for as far as the eye can see. Add in blazing sunshine, blue skies and a cooling breeze sent from heaven and you have paradise. Oh, did I mention the clifftop restaurant overlooking the beach which serves up icy cold white wine and the tastiest Bajan fish cakes? 

It really is an absolute treat in every way...

We only ventured over to Crane twice as it's on the South-East of the island and about a 40 min drive from where we were staying. Both times we got up at the crack of dawn to make the most of the day ahead. The hours were spent mostly reclining with fresh coconuts in hand served up to us upon request by a Bajan beach waiter! You could choose between a booze-laden nut or the coco virgin variety! Then, as soon as your order's placed, the attentive Coconut Man would scurry on up the beach, scale a palm, collect your fresh coconut and Bob's your uncle – tree-fresh deliciousness delivered to you by hand with a cherry on top (literally)! Utter bliss!

Fully embracing the national sport of Barbados… cricket! You may be thinking how much do these four girly girls know about cricket and why oh why would they spend a whole day which could otherwise be spent working on their tans watching a match? My thoughts exactly BUT it was England’s first test match against the West Indies and we had been told there were tickets up for grabs in the party stand… sold! So off we trotted early doors to bag ourselves a spot. 

Honestly, the game was slow and England played embarrassingly so but the Banks beer was flowing, the sun was shining and the uber-competitive party stand banter between the two camps provided much entertainment and fun. In summary – a real experience and we got to work on our tan in the process – win win! 

Dining out like a pack of ravenous dogs! In summary, I've never eaten so well in my life! We had a mutual joke on holiday that the only taxing question we had to ask ourselves each day was ‘what are you wearing tonight?’ We would spend our days doing pretty much nothing, so in the evenings we would spring into life Bella from Twilight style! We would mix our evenings up to cover all bases, some of our favourites included…

Dressed to impressed we enjoyed cocktails galore and alfresco dining at new kid on the block, Cin Cin By The Sea...

A classy dinner followed by a 3am lock-in at The Mews in Holetown...

Rum Sours and dancing at The Lime Bar - it may be slap bang in the middle of a high-end shopping complex but after dark it's the place to be seen...

To best meal of our lives at The Cliff only made better by the jaw dropping setting that comes with a reservation...

The mention of the above over-indulgence and luxury brings me onto my last boastful story involving a boat, champagne and a killer sunset. The night we ventured to The Mews for dinner we were invited for a post-meal nightcap by the owner himself. Plentiful rounds of espresso Martinis later we were kindly invited to join the owner, Chris, on his boat the following afternoon! How could we refuse? A personal highlight from the holiday for sure - gorgeous company with lots of chatter and laughter coupled with Champagne, a spot of swimming and all topped off with the most spectacular sunset to end the day... 

BEST HOLIDAY EVER - the countdown to our next trip begins now!