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Life: July 2012

My mum bought me a Moomin teatowel! / We met Matt Lucas at a Bitter Ruin gig
Wireless festival / Giant chocolate meringue from Selfridges

Lips and chains / Champagne for my big sister's birthday

Strawberries for Wimbledon at work / Henry Holland at Wireless festival
Ticket to see Regina Spektor / Sign at a Ba Shan in Soho

Nail art / Tower Bridge

Purse Palpitations: Week 2

If anyone's feeling generous?

PPB Tribal necklace from Pretaportabello £25

Necklace holder from Not on the High Street £8.50

Baroque print cardigan from River Island £40

Love and Hate Bracelets from ASOS £5.50

Shopping: My First Le Creuset

Well, that's it. I'm officially a grown-up. I think I'm more excited about my latest kitchen purchase than about most of my other possessions right now. I've FINALLY bought something from Le Creuset! I spent a good half an hour sat on the floor of Selfridges with Ms O trying to decide between a pie dish, a flan dish or a casserole dish. When she persuaded me that pie dish was definitely the best option I then had to decide on colour. This beautiful turquoise is unassuming but different and I majorly love it. It's all tucked up in my room until I move house next month, when it will take pride of place next to my standard pyrex. I'm not ashamed!

Fashion: That Big Event in London

It can't be ignored for much longer. The Olympics is nearly here, and Londoners are preparing for meltdown. Forget Stella McCartney designing the Team GB kit, or Hermes dressing up the French equestrian team - they're slightly out of my league, and the sports luxe trend isn't really my thing. If I'm going to be celebrating the Olympics, it's going to be with one of these strokes of genius:

Yeeeeah rent in London is pretty high, and everyone's bitter about it. 
Sssh, don't tell anyone!

At £15 each these are definitely worth parading around the tube!

Buy them from (also where all photos come from).

Purse Palpitations: Week 1

This is the first week of my ultimate lusts that have been following me around the internet, the things that make my bank account weep and that I can't get out of my head! £41.50
Glamorous £22.99

Swedish Hasbeens at Urban Outfitters £80
Missguided £9.99

Shop: Age UK Furniture Store

I live in London, but I am born from the concrete jungle of the name Milton Keynes, most famous for its copious amount of roundabouts. When I went home last weekend we went to visit the furniture store of the charity my mum works for, Age UK.

This isn't your run of the mill high street charity shop, this is a huge warehouse on an industrial estate full of items donated second hand, or brand new from stores like Argos and Ikea. Like any charity shop there's hit and miss pieces, but plenty of gems both large and small.

Drop into the store 7 days a week and check out their website for opening times.

DIY: A New Use for a CD Rack

I've come to the realisation that I have too much stuff. It's not a recent realisation, I've known it for years. So moving house is always a bit of a challenge: both moving the actual items and finding somewhere new to hide them so my room doesn't look like a bomb site. 

Being in the rental market means I still don't have the room for my full DVD and CD collection, so this CD rack has become a bit useless, so my mum had a great idea to create some extra cosmetics storage for my new place.

All you need is a handy stepdad with his own saw and hey presto!

In the bottom I have a really cute vanity case that used to belong to my mum, and I bought two wooden baskets from Dunelm Mill for £6.99 each for the other two spaces. 

Simple DIY for more storage! What do you think?

Food: Hawksmoor

Ravenous carnivores, be still your rumbling stomachs! Hawksmoor is here to take care of you, to feed you to within an inch of your life, and leave you fuller than you have ever been before.

Rapidly gaining recognition as the best steak in London, Hawksmoor provides every cut and every size to suit any appetite, but we all know you're going to try and eat as much as you can, right? And I heartily encourage you to because this place is amazing. I started off with a tankard of pale ale - a mistake in hindsight; such a heavy meal does NOT need beer. 

My starter was potted beef and bacon with Yorkshires and an onion marmalade. You don't need me to tell you what it was like. Just look at it, you know it's going to be delicious.

The Hawksmoor website proudly states that they serve 'dictionary-thick steaks'. They aren't kidding. The first is my 600g Rib Eye. The second is my colleague's 800g Porterhouse (with knife for scale!).

I had sweet potato and creamed spinach with it too. It was so beautifully tender and perfectly cooked that the knife to cut it was merely a pleasantry, I could have easily used plastic cutlery to tear it.

This really is a meat-eater's dream restaurant. Next up, I want to try their Sunday roast. Bring it on!

All photos property of Shopped and Dropped, do not re-use without permission.

Explore: Animals Inside Out at Natural History Museum

PLEASE DON'T READ THIS POST IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH OR VEGETARIAN! Please also note that no animals were harmed for this exhibition. 

No, really. Take notice of the words above. I showed a friend of mine the pics from this and she had to look away. This exhibition really is what it suggests. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!

The German scientist Dr von Hagens invented 'plastination', a way that extracts all water and fatty tissue from a specimen and replaces them with polymers in a vacuum. It's a process that prevents decay and preserves the structure of the internal organs so they can be displayed.  

This exhibition is morbidly fascinating. I'm not particularly squeamish, and a lot of the time it was hard to believe that what you were seeing in front of you was actually a real animal as it was so perfectly preserved. The sheer size of the bull, elephant and giraffe with their, frankly, bloody huge internal organs was mind boggling, I couldn't help but stare and try and make sense of it in my head. 

The most bizarre thing was a horse's head sectioned in 3. I was amazed at how small a horse's brain is, considering it's head is so large. But this was the only one that made me feel a bit queasy, as you could see the whiskers and hairs on the head so closely that you knew it had to be real.

This exhibition is an amazing spectacle. People must remember that it's not done to show off human beings' supremacy over the animal kingdom by merely 'chopping' them up. This is a feat of science and a intricate biology lesson that we can all learn from. If anything it makes you appreciate the species even more when you see how powerful and strange they are.

Animals Inside Out at the Natural History Museum is on until September, and tickets start from £5.

All photos property of Shopped and Dropped, do not re-use without permission.

Food: Riding House Cafe

The Riding House Cafe is another place, hidden off Oxford Street that is well worth the diversion. Tucked into a little corner, decked in beautiful green and adorned with vintage decoration, this place has pushed its way into my favourite places to eat in London with just two visits.

It's quaint crockery, properly attired waiting staff and smoothies served in milk bottles give the place personality and charm. It's exactly how I want all my breakfasts to be served. Suddenly cornflakes at my desk is unbearably boring!

And here's the main reason why I keep fantasising about this place:

These buttermilk pancakes come with maple syrup, berries and clotted cream (and I ordered a side of crispy smoked bacon too), and are honestly the best pancakes I've ever had. Excuse me whilst I just wipe the drool off my keyboard...

All photos property of Shopped and Dropped, do not re-use without permission.

Shopping: A Vintage Armchair

In 6 weeks time I'm moving into a flat with one of my best friends and for the first time ever, we're going into a place unfurnished. Since moving out of the family home, I've lived in shared housing, with furniture provided. This is convenient if you're moving year to year as I was at university, but now I want to put my stamp on a place and make it more of a home then just a house. Ms O and I are far too over-excited about colour schemes and decorations and it means that we're getting to buy furniture, something completely new for me.

In a moment of nonchalant eBay browsing I found this incredibly kitsch and undeniably perfect armchair and I knew it would fit our new lounge like a glove. 

I can't wait to curl up on it with a hot chocolate in front of a classic DVD box set in winter. 

All photos property of Shopped and Dropped, do not re-use without permission.
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review