muffin

Break up confusion: part 1000 of 100,000,000

Putting things back how they used to be. Or not.

You will never normally intentionally change things about yourself in a relationship, some things you will. But when you break up, some of those qualities will have to go, just in order for you to cope with being a single you again. But also – whether the relationship was good or bad – you have to take some treasures and good qualities with you.

397039_10150538064873676_1388316972_n For example – I have learnt to not wear make up. Now, for some this is a little thing and you won’t relate or understand. But for years my previous boyfriend (who I was with for over 5 years) told me I was beautiful with and without make up on. He never wanted me to wear as much make up as I did. I never needed it, and I knew all along that I didn’t need it – but I still wore it. Anyway – it took one person, and just him, for some reason, to change how I felt about it. It could have been the way he first said it, the way he looked at me, the fact that he never stopped telling me. But here I am now, I rarely wear make up.

photo 1 When we were mad for each other, and I wanted him to know I would say ‘thank you’. He gave me the confidence, somehow, to be this person. To have the confidence to have a bare face.

photo 2 Here I am, he gave me, taught me – something. And no matter if I wake up one day mad at him for not being mine, or if I stay in this place of just missing him… I would be lying if I said I didn’t learn or gain anything from my relationship with him.

photo 3 For different people it could be ‘x’ ‘y’ or ‘z’ – but for me, I am grateful and very blessed to have had that person in my life.

photo 4 It is important to remember the good, and everything you did and gained from being together – but it is also okay to put things about yourself back to how they used to be. Not that your other half told you to not be that way, or stopped you from having those qualities, maybe they just weren’t necessary when you were part of a relationship.

photo 5– don’t second guess everything.

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Maybe we could be each other’s soul mates

“Don’t laugh at me, but maybe we could be each other’s soul mates. Then we could let men be just these great, nice guys to have fun with.” Charlotte York, Sex and the City.

Lucky for me… I have my soul mate. But even better than that I am blessed enough that he will be there, for ever.

Months can go by, and a lot can change (believe me! I’m talking lovers, ex lovers, marriage, tattoos, weight, hair, and god knows what else) but there he is… My SOLE/SOUL mate.

6 years ago, god knows what month it was… I was put clubbing with a group of friends and my current boyfriend. I know exactly what I was wearing (high waisted harem black suit trousers, black Mary Jane Louboutins, low cut/low back white racer back ripped vest, and a very naughty, very see through, lace and silk bra; and of course, a chanel 2.55 – it will always be me to wear a vest that was slutty but I had picked up from a market in Vietnam, trousers from Topshop and then top the cost of my whole outfit by adding a bag and shoes!). Anyway; there I was walking along the high street of this little town that I had grown up in to go move my boyfriends car whilst he was busy buying everyone drinks… Who do I bump into? My love, my genie, Reece Morgan. Now what I haven’t mentioned is that – this club was full of nice girls dressed like hoochies! You would see a Chanel here, Kurt Geiger there, Prada there… But the main aim with these girlies was sluttiness and as you can probably tell; what I was wearing was sexy, subtle but never hoochie mumma! Maybe that’s why he chose me, only he could tell you that. The inimitable Reece. So there I am, treating the high street as a run way and I bump into an acquaintance, turns out he was heading to the same place I was drinking with his girlies. Before I knew it, 2 weeks later I was on a stone table, in a mesh body, with black lipstick, wet look black eyeshadow, slicked back jet black hair… Pouting and posing. And that was just the beginning…

Now, when I first came across Reece I just knew him to be an aspiring photographer with an amazing sense of style. It wasn’t until we had numerous Cosmos and Margaritas that I realised every element that makes him is pure fabulous. From his ever changing hair styles, ooh snap! To his huge collection of handbags from Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Chanel and Hermes. Not forgetting his irresistibly delicious personality.

Only Reece would turn up at one of my friends magazine launch parties in Mayfair and get papped on his way home, simply for looking so gorg and fabulous. As if! Crazy.

This man is there for everything whether it be a simple BBQ in the garden of my fathers ranch (me in flares and him in all black), drinks in Canary Wharf (me in 10 inch heels and him in vintage), winter cocktails in Covent Garden (me with my pink 2.55 chanel and him draping himself in fur), a burlesque show in the West End (me in all black apart from my rose gold courts and Michael Kors and him traipsing in Dior), a Cheryl Cole concert at the O2 arena (me in leather trousers and him holding a jug of Cosmo) or us trying to figure out a way to make pink fishnet mesh work in my dressing room.

But it’s not just the clothes, the memories and the designers, it’s the art – his art, my drunken ‘art’, the art of love (or trying I find it), our worshipping of art (whether it be SJP, bitching about Kim K, slamming Britney, or worshipping the queens of the red carpet and the skinny bitches behind a camera!). There is pure talent there, and not necessarily the talent that you make for yourself by having a subscription to Vogue, or trading in your mums vintage for the to-die-for-vintage, or dressing to impress… For me, he was born with it. It’s the air, the blood and all the different organs that put him together and create pure talent-full fabulousness!

Well ya know what, here’s to the men that have come and gone (and stayed!) for the both of us, the fashion faux pas (for the both of us!!) and here’s to the next 50 plus years where this (photographer, stylist, socialite, bitch, editor, realised) man will still be my soul/sole mate… Because no matter what happens I will be wearing my Louboutins as slippers and he might well be taking the trash out in his vintage Hermes.

Love you, DOLL.

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the innocent cupcake_

What a spectacular bonding activity making cupcakes can be. There is nothing like it when the intoxicating aroma seeps up your nostrils when liquid conjoins with sugar and flour to create sponge. Baking cupcakes can be strangely relaxing, and it gives the baker time to chat, drink, do other chores, or prepare the next batch and of course plan the decorative line of attack. Having flour to sift, flavours to drizzle and vanilla syrup to stir provides the diversion that mixing a martini once did.

johanna-brinckman

The cupcake acquired its name in the 19th century when a revolutionary new way of measuring ingredients (by cup) rather than the more complicated way of weight was introduced to American cookbooks. Then before you knew it, Carrie Bradshaw was sitting on a New York bench outside the Magnolia Bakery with her stick thin legs on show, eating a cupcake…

Then came the cupcake shops, companies, in-house brands, the TV shows and celebrity weddings. Now with over 44,000,000 cupcakes consumed in the UK last year which translates as £23.5m worth of cupcakes, 400 books about cupcakes on Amazon and a 54 per cent surge in baking businesses, the cup cake has well and truly arrived.

Georgi Gyton, associate editor of the British Baker Magazine (the creators of National Cupcake Week) put the cupcake’s enduring popularity down to its versatility. “One of the main reasons that cupcakes have become so popular across the nation is due to the sheer variety of options when it comes to cupcake flavours, and the high quality and creativity seen in the decoration of them,” she claims “it can’t be denied that cupcakes look great, and are enticing to eat.

As Nigella Lawson says, baking cupcakes is “the opposite to cooking, because unlike a steak, you get the fantasy of transformation”. She goes on: “You put this goo in the oven and it comes out a cake. And it is much easier than whipping up an ‘artless’ feast. Who cares if the baking ingredients aren’t exactly the right temperature and the cakes come out a bit heavy? No one really notices.”

Having your own signature style of cupcake in today’s cupcake market is crucial, with so many different flavours and sizes and toppings being accessible pretty much anywhere from Starbucks, Selfridges and Tesco, to attract the more attention you need to bring in something the crowd have never tasted before.

Lorraine Miller, who owns Marigold Cupcakes in Surrey, based her cupcake recipes on famous women such as Kylie Minogue, Katy Perry, and Elizabeth Taylor. Everything from the title of the cake, to the amounts of glitter, sweets, cream and decorations used ooze the obvious qualities of the female figure. But Miller explains that it’s not the name of her cupcakes that make then so popular. “They are fun, colourful and small”.

Unfortunately for those on a diet, or those who simply can’t justify eating 500 calories (give or take a few) in one gulp the cupcake is growing more and more accessible. Miller adds that cupcakes “aren’t something you buy one day and chuck away the next, they keep well for 3 days”.

It could be argued that the cupcake has become a weird sort of talisman of a certain kind of happiness.

Owning a cupcake company or shop such as Marigold Cupcakes is the career fantasy of the 21st century, and a profitable one at that.

Gyton says: “Cupcakes are relatively easy to make at home, which is why there are so many home-based cupcake businesses springing up across the UK all the time.”

Cupcakes are fast becoming the treat of choice at events from birthday parties, weddings, a baby and bridal showers to conferences,

Mattias Kiehm, general manager of catering at Harrods, said: “Cupcakes have replaced chocolates and flowers as a gifting idea. It is the corporate world and fashion elite who buy them, as much as the yummy mummies”.

Gyton agrees: “Cupcakes are suitable for a wide range of events, from birthdays, to weddings and corporate get-togethers because they are very versatile.” Is the trend here for good? “They can be customised in any way and made in a variety of sizes, so are perfect for so many occasions.”

By the looks of things the trend will keep growing.

“I think with any trend, the interest in cupcakes will probably reach a peak, but it’s certainly not showing any signs of declining at the moment,” says Gyton, adding: “Sales are on the up, year-on-year, and in terms of the interest in National Cupcake Week and our National Cupcake Championships, we’ve seen more and more people getting involved every year.”

Miller also points out that cupcakes are environmentally friendly, in that there are normally no left-overs. “The craze will last for the foreseeable future, they will carry on for a while yet. And there’s no waste, which is so important to everyone nowadays.”

Has the flurry of TV shows such as the television series 2 Broke Girls and Sex and the City along with the tonnes of books and live cooking competitions, simple shown that it isn’t difficult and it can be relaxing, which forces brands like Betty Crocker to maybe have limited days. The trick? Lorraine believes that your cupcakes need “to look good, be original and most of all, fresh” to gain success.

So what is it exactly? The relaxation? The decoration? The ease? The small taste of things ‘you shouldn’t be eating’? But, with all the trends coming, going and staying in Britain and all over the world… Botox, at home hair dying kits, music and films free online, the cupcakes craze is one where you can make it at home, buy them anywhere and you get a treat at the end (if they don’t come out of the oven burnt!).

It’s a dollop of sugar and carbs lurking beneath a veil of pastel-coloured icing. Even cupcakes can be made gluten free by changing the flour. But the butter, the calories? These moist, bready delights each have a devote burst of individuality. One day you’ll be invited to mouth water over choices like Salmon and Cream Cheese and then it’s all about Bacon and Egg following in the footsteps of Heston Blumenthal.

The fifth annual National Cupcake Week will take place from 16-22 September 2013.