the knitwear care club

a few weeks ago i rediscovered this jumper in the bottom of my cupboards and was totally smitten with it all over again. what i noticed when i wore it though, was just how bad shape it is; i bought it off ebay, and it was clearly well-worn by its original owner, and with loads of wear comes loads of bobbling - a pretty unsightly look on such a pretty jumper, no?

with this in mind, and the fact we're now all frantically pulling our knitwear out of hiding for the next instalment of "winter in the uk", i thought i'd share with you all my number one tip for keeping your favourite jumpers and cardis in tip-top condition this season.

de-bobbler c/o george at asda

the de-bobbler is my actual favourite device ever. i remember my mum had one when i was a child, and i used to love helping her remove the bobbles from her well-worn winter clothes. i was a boring kid with no imagination, ok? the reason bobbles appear on fine knits is not just from over wear, but also over washing, and wearing too-many layers. when one fabric rubs up against another, over time the friction causes the fabric to raise and bunch. 

the de-bobbler is kind of like a lawn mower for your jumper. you just turn it on and in a slow circular motions just navigate it over the area of the fabric that's affected by the bobbles. it's not an instant process - something i remembered only after getting frustrated that it didn't seem to be working, but gradually, and with a bit of patience, the bobbles start to be chewed up by the meal teeth and leave the jumper sleeve looking as good as new!

a thrifty mrs has another, similar idea for removing bobbles without having to invest in a de-bobbler (although, they're not even that expensive on amazon!) - providing you have yourself some velcro rollers hanging about the house of course (don't we all?). even if not, these are usually about a pound in your local cheap shops, so could be a nice and easy way to keep your winter woolies looking spiffy long after the season ends.

do you have your own tips for saving your favourite knits from the bobbles? i'd love to hear 'em!

some happy things

this week's been a bit of a slumpy one for me; i've been a bit down in the dumps, which makes thinking about all the things that have made me happy this week a little bit harder than normal. thank god for the camera roll, eh? always there to remind you of the good (and bad) and happy moments you've chosen to capture to remember at a later date. like:

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas: and i started to panic about christmas presents as, pre-tuesday, i'd literally bought zero. finding unused gift vouchers in my purse as i was hunting for something else, i jumped online and sorted a few out quick smart, then popped into oxford street to pick them up after work. let me tell you this: click and collect is a wonderful thing, if only you didn't have to still go in-store to collect items. what's that? they can deliver them to you for a nominal fee? yes, but then i'd miss out on seeing the christmas lights that i'd so far only seen on the internet. pretty!

pay day treats: we made it through another month you guys, we bloody made it! pay day morning treats are always: a large starbucks, flavour du jour (this week's was toffee nut latte - of course), and  a bit of cake. this week the cake was subbed for home made treats from the bearded baker, which - in many ways, is certainly a lot better. pay day mornings are a thing of beauty, aren't they? living the dream of not being broke again.. for a hot minute at least.

good news for the squad: some of my bangarang babes shared some good news with the squad this week, and it's hard to feel sorry for yourself when you're feeling nothing but pride and happiness for some of your besties. the girls i surround myself with are a constant reminder of how lucky i am, and how i ought to count my blessings instead of wallow in self pity. my friends > your friends. 

home town pride: on thursday night i caught up with liz and we went to a sampling night at one of our local pubs - the signal in forest hill. i rarely get invited to blogger events in the south - despite having my location written across all my social media, so when i do, and they're close enough to walk home from, i feel like i've really made it. more on this to come this week, as i have loads of great things to say about my night there, and i'm sure you're already bored of reading this. never the less, it was a greeeat night.

my work pals: are another constant source of hilarity. even when the work is stacked and the time is running out, these guys never really stop hyping "us" up. this week we had thanksgiving dinner at nicole's, where we ate mexican food and drank american beers and watched christmas films and just had a great night. it's rare we all get together outside of work, but when we do, we do it right.

london reunions: on saturday char came into london to hang out with me and come to the coffee with curry's blog event with me at holborn's the fable. ok, so i kinda, sorta got us lost on the way there, and she kinda, maybe had to walk back past two stations she'd travelled through underground, but the venue was worth arriving early at - that's for sure. the decor was very "down the keyhole", and it was super quiet in there so we basically had free range of the place while we waited for the event to be set up. more pictures of that to come... i took a lot. standard.

pizza: because: pizza. jess, char and i headed to pizza union in king's cross after the event and had a late lunch before heading our separate ways. pizza is life. pizza is everything.

a new do (ish): and then i went to bex's in stoke newington and abused her a) salon talents, b) big tv, and c) the fact she is still in london by getting her to bleach my roots while i watched xfactor and ate nepalese food. winner winner curry dinner! i've put a bit of lilac and a bit of rose in it now, just to keep the ginger at bay, but i'm liking the fresh roots! i might wash the colour out and just have blonde fade to rose gold... kind of loving it at the moment! fyi - bleach london home bleach kits are foolproof.

a good book and lay in is a great reason to stay inside: sunday's weather was so gross. so windy, so cold, such a good reason to have a lay-in, finish my book, and drink all the coffee. then watch all the netflix. am i right, or am i right?

i hope your week's been full of happy; tell me, what's been your highlight?

big bang data at somerset house

"emails, selfies, shopping transactions, google searches, dating profiles: every day we're producing data in huge quantities. our online activity, alongside that of business and governments, has led to a massive explosion - a "big bang" - of data. this radical shift in the volume, variety and speed of data being produced, combined with new techniques for storage, access, and analysis, is what defines the proliferation of data. it is radically reshaping our world and is set to revolutionise everything we do.

data today gives us new ways of doing things: from scientific research to business strategy, politics to social interaction, our new data-driven society that has the potential to be more fair, stable, and efficient and yet it also created a tools for unprecedented mass surveillance and commodification. data access and usage rights, along with the value they compromise, are at the heart of many concerns.

big bang data explores the issues surrounding the datafication of our world through the works of artists, designers, journalists and visionaries. as the data explsion accelerates, we ask if we really understand our relationship with data, and explore the meaning and implications of data for our future."

the exhibition runs from next thursday, december 3rd through until february 28th, and i for one am excited! i don't "get" a lot of art, but digital design and creation and the evolution of the digital age is something that piqued my interest long before making the move into my current job - one that relies on data collection and distribution, so this is something i am really looking forward to checking out.

tickets info can be found here. is this something you'd like to see yourself this winter?

style | not as keen as mustard

jumper + dress : h&m | boots : primark | backpack*: george at asda | lippie : sephora

in my day-to-day life, i usually wear a cross-body bag. i have done since i moved to london, really. i was warned originally about the threat of mugging, crime, etc, and so to ensure my personal safety way back then, the best solution was a bag that could be zipped up secure, and worn across my person to stop people trying to grab it. i don't know if that advice was sound, of if i've just been lucky, but so far: so good. 

so the decision to switch to a freaken backpack after all this time was certainly not one i considered thoroughly enough. last week i worked from home for a day, so i had to use a backpack to get my crap home, and back the next day. that night and following morning on the tube was a nightmare. having to take it off and put it back on again because of the amounts of audible 'tuts' from the space invasion was insane. that's karma: i'm usually one of those tutters.

so why - for the love of god ~why, did i choose to forgo my comfortable and reliable satchel bag for this tan, leather-look backpack over the weekend? greeeeat question. yes, it's bloody cute, bang-on trend, and it carries a lot more stuff than a cross-body bag, but, my my, how annoying to get in-and-out of all the time. and try and squeeze past people in a tight area. and realise after you've just put it back on your back that your oyster card is still inside it. euurrrghh, it's so cute, but i haaaaate wearing it so much.

also, i found this jumper in my jumper drawer and like, totally forgot that i owned it. i love it so much! it fits perfectly still, totally warm, but, like... such a wrong colour for my current hair sitch. gutted! want to wear it all the time. maybe i will anyway. *sassy emoji*

make their christmas

you know how i know it's christmas? it's advert season. i don't even own a tv, pay a tv licence or watch many actual tv shows, and yet i'm somehow still wise to the latest debate to have split the internet: am i team #mogthecat or team #manonthemoon? (for the record, and despite everything you know about me, i am very much team kitteh. he so funny!) even without a tv to my name, i still got suckered into the debate and forced to watch the many adverts regardless, just so i could have my say. and why? these major chains and department stores hardly need the extra promotion at christmas, do they? surely their customers know they're still open at christmas - emotional, pull at the heart-strings tv advert or not?

i suppose though, the thing these adverts do remind us of is how different everyone's christmases really are. from one family to the next, you can guarantee varying degrees of tradition and festivity, and i guess its the personal, family quirks that make spending time with your family at christmas all that more special. right? or for ex-pats like me, with no family close by, that little bit harder to deal with.

thankfully though, i am surrounded by other ex-pat friends, and at christmas we come together to share our traditions, and ensure that our holidays are no less full of festive fun than if we were still home with our families. how? for a start, we get the hell out of london so that we can ~actually spend the holidays with each other. in london, the city shuts down. no tube or trains run on christmas day, meaning any day-time travel is out of the question. as we all live in different corners of the city, we tend to have to either stay at someone's place on xmas eve through to boxing day before we can travel again. fine, really, can make for a crowded house.

for the last few christmases though, we've hired a cottage somewhere cold and isolated, hired a car, filled the fridge with seasonal groceries (and booze) and just celebrated at our own pace. we've been lucky to have christmas trees up in our previous cottages meaning our christmas days were all ready for us. this year, we're travelling up to edinburgh to spend the holiday with bex in her flat up north, so it will absolutely feel like home for us once more. as we're all kiwi/australian ex-pats, we sort of all share the same antipodean traditions: hot weather foods. this will be our fifth christmas in the uk, and so i suppose we're still sort of working out our winter traditions. 

so far, there been no snow - despite what all popular christmas films would have us believe. new traditions for us have been things like the addition of baileys to all the hot drinks, and cooking all the cider in a sauce pan. hot drinks for christmas is just ~not what we're used to, so to compensate for that, we ~always try to get our hands on some kiwi fizz; lindauer is a favourite of ours, and nothing tastes more like christmas to us that a cold glass of bubbles and some delicious fresh berries. mixing our antipodean food traditions with our new english ones is always a little trial and error (i'd never cooked a roast beef before last year, and we totally ruined it but made up for it with fresh pavlova and incredible cheese platters), but there's no-one i'd rather be trialling and failing with at this time of year. your friends are the family you choose, and it's rad to be able to make our own traditions work for us while still trying to retain some of the important ones from our childhoods.

littlewoods' christmas advert this year, thankfully, is one that celebrates the little things that make our christmases ~ours. the advert even helps support their christmas range, unlike many of the others out there, and really - isn't that what you should be advertising at this time of year? the little things people do to make their christmas theirs?

i'd love to hear about some of your own personal traditions, as would littlewoods, so leave your traditions for me below, and get involved with the conversation on twitter too: #maketheirchristmas