Monday, 31 December 2012

2012- So lets make time work for us

Precious Time- THE MACCABEES
2012 was an amazing time for Britain, with the jubilee and olympics, its been a year we will never forget! Its also been a great year for us, we took the plunge and decided to start this little blog and have had the most amazing time, rambling on, taking snaps and discovering other wonderful bloggers, bring on 2013, we are very excited and hope its the best year yet for cositsthebeesknees! Thanks so much to all our followers and readers you always manage to make our day! :)
Heres a little look back at the year... Happy New Year everyone!
2012- What we wore:
(wow thats a lot of clothes and a lot of posing!)
2012- What we made:
1) Christmas Jumper DIY, 2) Macaroons 3)6) Vaccines Top and shorts 4) Embellished collar 5) Rasberry cupcakes 7) Custard Creams 8) Daisy cupcakes 9) tart 10) Beanie burgers

2012- What we listened to:

2012 has been a great year for music and has also been a year when I really discovered my music taste, and most importantly of all, my favourite band. This time last year if you were to ask me who the Maccabees were, I would have has no idea, 12 months and 3 Maccabees albums later, I don't understand how my Ipod could have exsisted without them! Here are my favourite releases of 2012 and late 2011, that have had countless plays on my ipod...

1) Enjoy it while it Lasts- Spector
I am so glad I made the decision to go and see Spector in Hyde Park during the summer, it was one of the best decsions I ever made! Although at the time I had knew none of the lyrics, that soon changed...Their album has to be one of my absolute favourites, every song isequally catchy and addictive. Anyone who hasn't already check them out,
Best track, Friday Night Don't Ever Let it End

2) Given to the Wild- The Maccabees
In my opinion, the best album of 2012, may be biased, but then again it was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize album of theyear and is the band's third and best release to date. The Brigthon- based bands indivual and unique sound, accompained by Orlando Week's beautiful vocals, makes Given to the Wild a stand out album. Whats more, they are amazing live what more could you ask for? if ever I were to recomend an album, this would be it
Best track, Feel to Follow

3) Come of Age- The Vaccines
I fell in love with the band's first album, so you can imaginme my exctiment at the realease of their follow up album. At first listen I was unsure, but this is a grower, and by the second listen, Come of Age had won me over. With a slight different sound to their first album, whilst still retaining the sound we all love, Come of age has everything from 50s inspired rock and roll tunes (teenage icon) to moody grumbles (bad mood), it won't disapoint!
Best track, I Always knew

4) An Awesome Wave- Alt-J
Debut album from Alt-J, and winner of the Mercury Prize award is an amazing listen. it has proved to be very popular, quite unusual for an album of this genre, proving just how good it is. What makes this album so interesting is the diverse number of sounds which it includes, electronic, dubstep, and folk to name a few, but works so well when put together!
Best Track, Dissolve Me

5) Sunny side Up- Paolo Nutini
Although nearly three years old now, I had to include this in my best albums, simply because I have not stopped listening to it all year. It sounds so perfect in the summer, with it's happy tunes and melodies, and picks me up in the winter- a definite all rounder, Paolo's voice has to be one of my favourites of all time, and his songs never fail to hit the mark. A great listen
Best Track, Candy

6) Together we were made- The Feeling
Released last year, this is The Feelings third album. Having been a fan since their first release back in 2006, this album did not dissapoint. With catchy pop rock tunes and a gorgeous duet with sophie ellis bextor (Leave me out of it) this album is a must have.
Best Track, Say No

7)Radio one's Live Lounge 2012- Various artists
I admit that this one is a bit random, but if you are looking for a record full of variety and well known voices, then this is a great album for you. I have always been a fan of Live Lounge, seeing some of my favourite artists cover well known songs is always fun (who would have thought that the Vaccines singing Taylor Swift could work... well it does!)
Best Track, We are never ever getting back together, The Vaccines

8) Portamento, The Drums
Again, technically not released in 2012, but near enough and it was too good to miss out! The Drums are a great band, and even if you might not recognise the name you would defintely recognise some of their songs! Catchy beats and the occasional homourous lyrics, the Drums are the right mix of everything, and this album is a must have on any iPod
Best Track, Money

9) Beacon- Two door Cinema Club
If a reader of our blog, you may have seen a couple of months ago our post about going to a small TDCC perfomance and signing in HMV Oxford Street, that day I bought the album home and have not stopped listening to it since, it is a perfect blend of radio- friendly tunes and melodies, this is Two door cinema club doing what they do best! 
Best Track, Sun

Hope you enjoyed reading our blog in 2012, see you next year! :)

Happy New Year, Paloma xxx

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Now, bring us some figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer!

Hey all you Christmas elves :) Yup that's me still feeling festive, hopefully it will wear off by tomorrow evening and i'll be ready for the new year and what's to come rather than thinking about the past. I guess this post is a way to say goodbye to christmas and HELLO to the New Year :)
These are some two of the many thing that Paloma and I baked for our Christmas dinner party but can easily be baked throuought 2013. So...what's everyones New Years resolutions? and more importantly, are you going to stick to them :) Mine is to blog more, start jogging and try hard at my A levels (by making 3, at least one should be successful)
Loads of Love, Jess xxx

Paloma's Outfit - Dress- Primark, Shoes-Deichmann, Belt- H&M
My Outfit- Dress-H&M, Shoes- Deichmann

Christmas Pudding Cupcakes (without the xmas pudding part)
For the cake you will need:
150g/5oz of Butter
150g/5oz of Caster sugar
3 Eggs
1tsp of Vanilla Extract (or 2...or 3)
175g/7oz of self raising flour (sieved)
2tbsp Cocoa powder
Step 1- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4 and prep a muffin tray with cases. Cream the butter and caster sugar in a bowl until pale (I like to use a electric whisk for this, doesn't take so long). Add the eggs one by one whisking in between and then skip to step 3 and add vanilla extract.

Step 2-Carefully fold in the flour and the cocoa powder into the mix until the mixture's of drooping consistency. If a little stodgy, add a couple of teaspoons of milk.
Step 4- Divide the mix into the cupcake cases and place in the oven for 15-20 mins.
Step 5- Take out of the oven when a skewer comes out clean or it springs back when pushed. Once cooled, remove cases and cut off the tops so that they are sturdy when placed upside down.
For the icing:
3/4 of a pack of icing sugar
140g of butter
Ready rolled coloured icing to decorate

Step 6- In a bowl mix the icing and butter until combined and add the water until drooping consistency buy thick enough to stick and not run. Apply to the tops and allow to drop slightly down the sides

Step 7- use the ready rolled coloured icing and make berries out of red and holly leaves out of green
Step 8- Dust with icing sugar

Step 9- Plate up on a cake stand to present your masterpiece

Step 10- Eat and Enjoy :)

Stained Glass Biscuits

You will need:
350g/12oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
100g/3½oz butter
175g/6oz soft brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
4 tbsp golden syrup
24 wrapped fruit-flavoured boiled sweets in different colours

Step 1- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
For the biscuits, mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt together in a bowl.
Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar.
Step 2- In another bowl, beat together the egg and golden syrup, then pour this mixture into the flour mixture and mix to make a smooth dough, kneading lightly with your hands. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge.
Step 3,4 and 5- Crush the sweets in their wrappers using a rolling pin. Take care while crushing the sweets. You might find it easier to crush them in a plastic bag.
Step 6- Roll the dough out on a floured work surface to about 0.5cm/¼in thick, then cut into shapes using a selection of Christmas-themed cookie cutters. Transfer the biscuits to baking sheets lined with baking paper.
Step 7- Cut out shapes in the centre of each biscuit, making sure you leave a good edge all around the biscuit. Completely fill the hole in each biscuit with crushed boiled sweets.

Step 8- Make a hole at the top of each biscuit using a drinking straw so that you will be able to thread a ribbon through it later. Bake the biscuits in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden-brown.
Step 9- Remove the biscuits from the oven. While they're still warm, check that the holes are still there - if not, push a straw through again. Do not remove the biscuits from the baking tray until they have cooled because the boiled sweets need to harden. Once the sweets have hardened, gently lift the biscuits onto a wire rack with a palette knife to finish cooling.
Step 10- Eat and Enjoy :)

Friday, 28 December 2012

I changed my clocks to your time and I let the jet lag set in

'Upset Boulevard'- Spector

Hey all!
Hope you had a great christmas, and have enjoyed the past couple of days (over-eating!) Me and Jess met up for a coffee and a much needed chat, here are some photos of what we wore. We are styling the pastel trend, as part of our 'Twist on the Trend Feature' along with some of our favourite bloggers. It was quite a challenge trying to channel these bright colours into winter, but added colour to a winter wardrobe!
I was very very lucky to get a camera for christmas, its a Sony A37 DSLR and I love it, just getting the hang of it for the moment, but really enjoying experimenting with it, anyone got any good shooting tips?
Lots of love, Paloma xxx

Jess is wearing: Jumper and Boots- New Look, Dress- Pull and Bear, Boots- Topshop
I am wearing: Jumper- Primark, Jeans, coat and boots- Topshop
Ring from Accessorise
Cute unicorn earrings from H&M
Everyone's pastel looks-
1) 3) Emily and Jane from a Tale of Two Buttons 2) Rachel from the Girl from the Countryside 4)5) Us!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

We're walking in the air, We're floating in the midnight sky

Paloma is wearing: Shirt(worn as collar)- Primark, Jumper- DIY, leggings- H&M, Boots- Topshop

Jess is wearing: Jumper- Vintage, Jeans- GAP, Boots- Topshop, Santa hat!!

'Walking in the Air'- The Maccabees (cover)
Hey all!
The countdown to christmas has officially begun! With it being a matter of hours now till the day we have all been waiting for- I am so excited! This is an outfit post from our last day of school, when we celebrated christmas jumper day (late I know!- but I do have to say possibly one of the best days of the year!). Being very stuck, not owning any christmas jumpers myself I decided to make one, I made it up as I went along but would definitely reccommend trying it yourself (tutorial below).
Hope everyone has an amazing christmas, let the eating commence :P Its a veggie christmas dinner this year, no turkey for me!
lots of love, Paloma xxx
DIY Christmas jumper
If you want Christmas Eve to go that little bit quicker then try out this quick DIY for making a christmas jumper, using felt, pins and thread.

All you need is some different coloured pieces of felt, some paper, a pen, pins and thread and some christmas songs playing in the background!
1) Draw out your chosen design on a sheet of paper (I chose cute reindeer!)
2)Cut out and pin to a piece of felt.
3)Cut around the stencil, using fabric scissors
4)Sew on any further details using smaller pieces of felt
5)Sew your design onto the jumper
The great thing about this DIY is that you can simply unpick your design afterwards, saves you spending money on a jumper you can only wear for a couple of weeks a year!
Enjoy and Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

See her with the green dress, she talked to me at the bar...

Arctic Monkeys- Red Light Indicates Doors are Secured
Hey guys :)
Sorry for the delay in posts, we've been planning a dinner party which we're both very excited about and will be a future post on the blog, so keep checking for updates. In the next few days, ...cos its The Bees Knees will be all festive and filled with christmas cheer as we have many christmas themed posts, such as jumper posts and baking posts, lined up for nearly every day leading up to the day we're all waiting for!
I thought i'd kick off the festive season with an outfit post which is very wintery themed with emerald greens and grey tweed, not to mention a huge ultra-furry 'cruella devile' parka coat.
My Outfit - Parka -Topshop, Dress- Topshop, Cardigan- New Look, Brogues- H&M, Tights- M&S. 
Paloma's Outfit- Dress (worn as skirt) - Primark, Jumper- M&S Limited, Tights- M&S, Shoes- Topshop.

Also, over the week i've been getting all excited about the amount of christmas nail art designs that I am imagining and am able to at least try to re-create. Here is a step by step tutorial in pictures for a design I like to call 'Santa's Workshop'. I used- Barry M in Bright Red, Sally Hansen Strengthening Top Coat, Collection 2000 in Green with Envy and Collection 2000 in Damson Jam. For the black and white, I used acrylic paints with a brush and dotting tool :)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Macaroon

When it comes to baking, a particular nemesis of mine is the macaroon. After various failed attempts I always vow never to go near them again! But it neve lasts... I have been trying to hunt down a 'fault-proof' recipe, which isn't too fussy (you know its a no go area when thermometers are concerned!) I decided to try out a recipe by Lorraine Pascal and voila! By far the easier recipe I have come across and tasted so good! Here is the result, hope you enjoy...
  • 125g/4½oz icing sugar
  • 125g/4½oz ground almounds
  • 90g/3½oz free-range egg whites
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 110g/4oz caster sugar
  • food colouring (optional)
  • desiccated coconut, for sprinkling (optional)
  • 150ml/5fl oz double or whipped cream, whipped
1.Preheat the oven to 170/C/325F/Gas 5 and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
2.Put the icing sugar, ground almonds and 40g/1½oz egg whites together in a large bowl and mix to a paste.
3.Put the water and caster sugar in a small pan and heat gently to melt the sugar, then turn up the heat and boil until the mixture starts to go syrupy and thickens
4.Whisk the remaining 50g/2oz egg whites in a bowl until medium-stiff peaks form, then pour in the sugar syrup, whisking until the mixture becomes stiff and shiny. For coloured macaroons, add a few drops of food colouring, at this stage I did not piut enough pink, hence how the colour did not show up when cooked!)
5.Tip this meringue mixture into the almond paste mixture and stir gently until the becomes stiff and shiny again.
6.Spoon into the piping bag. Pipe a little mixture under each corner of the baking paper to stop it sliding around. Pipe circles onto the lined tray, twisting the bag after each one. The mixture should be quite loose to give a smooth finish.
7.When they’re all piped, give the tray 2–3 slams on a flat surface to flatten them. At this stage, sprinkle with desiccated coconut if you want.
8. Leave to stand for 30 minutes to form a skin then bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes with the door slightly ajar until firm. Remove from the oven, lift the paper off the baking tray and leave the macaroons to cool on the paper.

9.When cool, sandwich the macaroons together with whipped cream. They can be kept for a couple of days, but they are so yummy you would want to eat them all!

Lots of love, Paloma xxx

Friday, 7 December 2012

And that Eureka moment hits you like a cop car...

imageCough Cough- Everything Everything

Hey Guys,

How are you all in this chilly season?
This is just a quick post of what we wore for a day in Sixth Form life :) Paloma is styling a Peplum top, a major trend on the catwalks at the moment. A Peplum will attract attention to your waistline creating an hourglass and feminine silhouette. Definately an investment!
I am wearing a Purple skirt, purple is also a major trend this season :)

I am wearing: Blouse-Topshop, Cardigan-H&M, Skirt-Primark, Boots-Topshop, Tights-M&S 40D, Jacket (picture below) Republic.

Paloma is wearing: Peplum top-Primark, Jeans H&M, Bag-Primark, Shoes-TK Maxx.
Keep warm my lovelies :)
Jess xxx

Sunday, 2 December 2012

You float through in your haute couture, Dolce & Gabbana, McQueen Armani Prada.

'I wish I was Girl'- The Vaccines
Jess is wearing: Top- The Vaccines store, Shorts- Vintage DIY, Shoes- Converse, Jumper- Primark
Paloma is wearing: Top- DIY, leggings- H&M, Boots and Coat- Topshop
The Vaccines 2
Hey everyone!
Sorry for lack of posting, blogger has been refusing to upload our photos but we have now sorted it out, yay! and have plently of posts lined up! We went to see the Vaccines at Ally Pally a couple of weeks ago, and they were amazing! Here are our outfits, (looking back at it perhaps we did go a little over the top with the whole 'Vaccines' theme!) Despite being boiling hot and a little bit squished we had a great time, and they were even better this time round than when we saw them in July! Wow, summer seems ages away now, winter is officially here and its suddenly freezing,there is frost everything looks so beautiful! The number of teas I have been having recently is crazy, but, the cold doesn't matter because I am so excited for christmas its unreal!
Lots of love, Paloma xxx
The Vaccines 3