Thursday, 31 January 2013

Foam Rollers

Good evening! Just a quick blog post about a new foam roller set I tried out today, from blogger The Fiercest Lilliputian  who made a video tutorial, which you can see here. The hairstyle was to look a little like this:
This was my result:
As my hair was not properly prepped (I don't have any good setting lotion yet) it didn't have the right sheen and what-not, but I was really happy with how it turned out! It was super easy, and despite insanely strong winds, the 'do has kept surprisingly intact! I will definitely be doing this style more often, once a week at least.
(The only problem with it was not having enough foam rollers. I have 9, inherited from my step-grandma, and I'll probably buy some more over the weekend - possibly smaller ones, so I have a mixture of both.)

Jess xx

Saturday, 26 January 2013

"It has to be the hour... you can't miss!"

Last night I went to a party, called: 'I'm not going to hurt you  - I'm from the BBC.' As you may have gathered, it was a BBC-themed do, and a group of us decided to go as characters from The Hour.
If you haven't heard of The Hour, then take some time to go and watch it! It is a fantastic newsroom drama set in 1950s Britain and has just completed showing it's second series. This show is great for many reasons, including (but not limited to) a fantastic cast (including the likes of Romola Garai, Anna Chancellor, Ben Whishaw, Dominic West and Oona Chaplin), a flawless set design (with original 1950s BBC film equipment in the studio), incessant smoking, the Suez crisis, whisky, romance, scandal and murder.

Here's the trailer for the first series:

And a trailer for the second series:

The party itself was a small one, and here are a couple of photographs from the evening. I went as Marnie Madden, and the host as Bel Rowley (on the right in the first photograph). All photo credits go to Jack Marlowe, who came as Freddie Lyon.

If you're a cocktail drinker, you might want to check out The Hour cocktails - one for each of the main characters - created by The Blue Bar at The Algonquin Hotel. I found these recipes on The Hour page on BBC America, which has a veritable treasure trove of videos, photos and resources.
The Algonquin Hotel‘s The Blue Bar mixologists provided the following concepts and recipes. The Algonquin Hotel is a longstanding historical landmark, which has been a centrifugal part of culture and glamor of Manhattan through the ages. Once a favorite haunt of legends such as John Barrymore, Ernest Hemingway and Dorothy Parker, what better place to find a historically authentic cocktail menu that represents the class and sophistication of ‘The Hour.’

Lix Storm – (The Algonquin Cocktail) –
  Lix is the Kathryn Hepburn of ‘The Hour’ and is comfortable surrounded by worldly men. She enjoys indulging in an old school drink amongst her peers. This classic         whiskey-based cocktail has a high-rye content on the rocks.
· 2oz Top Shelf rye whiskey
· ¾ oz Top Shelf Dry Vermouth
· ¾ oz Pineapple Juice
            · Add ice and shake well, to be strained into a cocktail glass with a lemon twist
Hector Madden – (Classic Dry Martini)
Hector is the alpha male of the show, who relies on his excessive wits and charms to win over the public. Surely he would be the classic, no nonsense martini drinker made with Beefeater Gin.
4.5 oz London dry gin
3 dashes of dry vermouth
Served in a martini glass
Garnish with 3 Olives
Stirred with ice
Bel Rowley – (Classic Sidecar Cocktail)
Depending on the age of the Cognac, The Sidecar is one of the most classic and expensive cocktails in the world. Folklore credits the invention of the drink to an American army Captain during WWI, who, while serving in Paris named the drink after the motorcycle sidecar that he rode in to the Bistro where the drink originated. Others claim it was first introduced at “Buck’s Club” in London or The Ritz Hotel in Paris at the end of WWI. Bel’s attraction to the Side Car is a reflection of her longing for acceptance in the old world with it’s refined tastes, including a little bit of sugar on the rim of the glass.
· 5 parts VSOP Cognas
· 3 parts Cointreau
   · 2 parts fresh lemon juice
  · Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, sugar rimmed
Freddie Lyon – (The Re-Bel Sazerac)
“The Sazerac” is one of the oldest drinks in the world and is accepted as the oldest of the new world. Although the defining character of the “Sazerac Cocktail’ lies in it’s preparation with Absinthe of the traditional type of wormwood used in pre-banned Absinthes, that were never banned in the UK. It’s unique character of preparation calls for ice packed into a Western Style Glass, making it a perfect drink for Freddie, who has just returned from his journey to America. 
· 1 cube sugar
    · 1½ ounces (35ml) American Rye Whiskey
     · ¼ ounce Herbsaint
           · 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
   · Orange peel
Marnie Madden – (The Aviation, aka The Marnie Flight)
Marnie is a well traveled and worldly sophisticate. “The Aviation” is a classic cocktail made with a dry gin base, maraschino liqueur, Crème de Violette, and lemon juice. All these ingredients are poured into a Cocktail Shaker filled with ice, shaken well and strained into a cocktail glass. Marnie then calls for her standard maraschino cherry garnish to be cut and placed kissing the glass lip, refined, like her.
· 2-2 ½ oz British Dry Gin
· ½ oz Lemon Juice
· ¾ oz Maraschino Liqueur
    · ¼ oz Crème de Violette

Jess xx

Friday, 25 January 2013

My hair through the ages (well, 2012...)

A couple of days ago, I dyed my hair a really dark black/brown. I thought that it was time for a change! In the past year of my 1940s obsession, I have been brunette, red, ginger, very briefly blonde, yellow, and a very bright shade of orange. Take a look at my evolving style through the past year.

January 2012 - brunette:

February 2012:

March 2012:

June 2012 - the beginnings of red:

September 2012:

October 2012 brought with it a new haircut and a fringe!:

November started off with red-brown hair, but I finally gathered the courage to go ginger!

December brought a brief interlude of blonde, and then a rather bright shade of orange followed for Christmas and into the new year:

January 2013:

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Girlguiding through the 20th Century

One of my resolutions for 2013 is to complete my Girlguiding Leadership qualification. One day I would like to run a 1940s-style group for either Brownies or Guides, or maybe both. All of the activities would be like those practiced in the '40s and '50s - crafts, knitting, cooking and so on. I spent some time researching Brownie and Guide uniforms. Take a look:


The first Brownies were called Rosebuds, and their uniforms consisted of a dark blue skirt, matching jersey and beret, but this uniform later changed to brown. A Rosebud was expected to know how:
✓ The Union Jack is made up and how to fly it
✓ To tie a reef knot, sheetbend, clove hitch, bowline, sheepshank and fisherman's knot
✓ To do bending exercises
Brownies could work for the Entrance Test, Second Class Badge and First Class Test.
To pass her First Class Test a Brownie would be expected to do certain activities including:
✓ Clean knives, forks and spoons
✓ Fold clothes for mangling
✓ Knit a pair of socks or wristlets
✓ Know how to apply a triangular bandage
✓ Understand and carry out six physical exercises
✓ Make a milk pudding
✓ Carry a message of twelve words in her head and deliver it correctly

A brown beret was introduced in 1950, and in 1964 Brownies were allowed to wear a cardigan.
The test was called Golden Hand (First Class) and had four sections. Examples of what they included are:
✓ Intelligence - tie up and address a parcel for the post, using any slip knot
✓ Handicraft - lay and light a fire
✓ Health - skip thirty times without a break
✓ Service - carry a message of at least twelve words in her head for over five minutes and deliver it correctly


There were two different kinds of uniform - a dark blue dress, which was introduced in 1929 and was very popular, and the above. The skirts became shorter during WWII due to restrictions on material.
During the war Guides did a lot of extra First Aid and gained Red Cross certificates. The Red Cross was the main charity then and they raised money for it with Bake Sales and Concerts. Other special wartime activities were collecting sheep's wool from fences and gathering rose hips to make syrup. One curious collection was gathering cotton reels, which were made of wood in those days, apparently for the RAF!

The brown tie indicates that the Guide is a pack leader. The brighter blue shirt was introduced in 1946.
Guides would all have to pass their Tenderfoot badge before becoming enrolled and then they could begin on their Second Class badge which would take up to one or two years to complete.
Following this, they could then progress to their First Class badge, which was very difficult to achieve and then, and only then, could they begin on their Queen's Guide award. This had to be completed by their 16th birthday.
 (All information from Girl Guiding Norfolk Heritage.)