Shout-Out Saturday: Measuring cups

This might seem like an odd thing to shout about, but measuring cups have quite possibly changed my life.

Pastel blue melamine measuring cups from Williams-Sonoma

I’ve already blogged about how much easier my cooking has become since bothering to buy measuring spoons and not just guestimating all the time, but owning measuring cups has brought me exceptional levels of joy. There’s a real sense of ‘look at me, organising my life’ smuggery whenever I use them…which is seemingly every single day. Because they’re amazing.

You can sort of guess a tablespoon, but guessing ‘a cup’ is harder. It’s not a term we’re used to in the UK and I was always put off using American recipes for fear of getting everything wrong.

I of course drink liquids and therefore own real cups, but all my cups are different sizes. Is a cup and a mug interchangeable in this instance? Should I have been using a plastic cup? A short and squat Emma Bridgewater mug? Or the massive mug I once stole from Starbucks?

I didn’t want to start Googling “but what actually IS a cup?” like some sort of mentalist.

It just always struck me as a very strange way to cook. I want to be precise and use digital scales and bathe in the safety of lovely standardised millilitres and grams…not shove a cup in a bag of flour and hope for the best.

BUT IT TURNS OUT THAT MEASURING CUPS REALLY ARE THE BEST.

The Americans were onto something.

Pastel blue melamine measuring cups from Williams-Sonoma

I’d gotten through most of my life not needing measuring cups but the internet changed all that. I still cook from cookery books and BBC Good Food (aka the holy grail) but I cook so much more from blogs and random recipes I find via Instagram/Pinterest/Twitter/vague Googling now. And most of these recipes come from badass food bloggers in the US who obviously write their measurements in cups.

It’s not just the online crowd either, I’ve been really surprised to see cups used more frequently in even English recipe books now. Maybe it’s British writers trying to appeal to American audiences/save on re-printing fees….or maybe it’s just that we’re slowly realising that cups are GREAT.

Pastel blue melamine measuring cups from Williams-Sonoma

I bought my melamine set for less than five dollars at the Williams-Sonoma outlet at San Marcos Premium Outlets, but you can buy measuring cups in the UK easily enough.

Anthropologie have some *stunning* ones if you want to make them a feature/display piece, but Lakeland have more basic coloured plastic ones and there are tonnes and tonnes on Amazon.

I cannot tell you how much easier you’ll find cooking if you have measuring cups.

No more conversions and calculations.

No more guessing.

And a big fat YES to trying all the gorgeous American recipes you find online with minimum faffing.

Here are some nice ones should you be suitably convinced that YOU DEFINITELY NEED THEM…

Measuring cups by Nathalie Lete from AnthropologieThese ones are just dreamy. £36 by the dreamboat that is Nathalie Lete. Here.

Measuring cups made to look like a vintage milk bottle from AnthropologieTOO adorable. I am now convinced we need this one too. £24 from Anthropologie. Here.

 

Grey Melamine Meausring Cups by Williams- SonomaThese are the same as mine, but in a lovely grey. $14 from Williams-Sonoma here.

Measuring cups by Nathalie Lete from AnthropologieMore gorgeousness from Anthro, these are £32. Here.

Measuring cups by from Anthropologie£34 from Anthropologie. Here.

Pastel Measuring Cups by Mason CashPerfect for pastel obsessives. £14.99 by Mason Cash. Here.

A colourful 'nest' of measuring spoons AND cups by JosephI love Joseph Joseph. We have their knife block and a few other bits and the quality is always fab. These cups are great if you don’t have measuring spoons….as this included everything you need! £9.99. Here.

A trip to Kew Gardens…

Let’s re-wind all the way back to Mother’s Day.

Yep, Mother’s Day was AGES AGO (I wrote about my nice mamma here) but I’m still thinking about that brilliant weekend a lot, especially as I can barely remember my mother’s face as she’s too busy to see me. *Woe*.

My parents, my sister and her boyf came to stay with us that weekend and we all went to Kew Gardens for the day. I had never been to Kew before and once I realised how easy it was to get to on the tube I was embarrassed I’d never ventured over before.

Kew Gardens Palm House

I don’t actually live massively far away from Kew, but there’s seemingly nowhere to park so I didn’t see driving as an option. On the tube it’s dead simple though, it’s on both the District Line and Overground and the Kew Gardens entrance is literally a five minute walk from the station. There’s actually a bus that goes from Chelsea Harbour all the way to Kew Gardens (391, reprazent) but I’m not sure how long that would take.

But anyway, it’s close if you live in West London.

Poppy in the palms at Kew

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The month that was (TV edition)….The Jinx, Veep, Fortitude, Catfish and The Island

Thanks to ALL THE TRAVELS (still to be blogged about, ahem), my ‘The Week That Was‘ posts have fallen by the wayside. I was gonna write off the past six weeks and just start again with the usual TWTW format on Sunday, but it felt a bit mean to neglect the cool things that have happened in that time frame. Some things, like Sky Atlantic’s epicly good documentary series The Jinx, NEED to be shouted about.

So here I am, shouting.

I’m going to do a round-up of a few of my TV faves from the past month today, then I’ll feature my food faves tomorrow and my most brilliant places on Friday.

I’m going to get back into my regular swing of Sunday TWTW posts as of this weekend (I will! Even from Manchester, I will!) but for now, here’s what I’ve been hungrily consuming with my eyes and ears…

Oh and I have no affiliation whatsoever with Sky, I just watch a lot of Sky to justify our ludicrous monthly bill. I LOVE SKY. I am not sponsored by Sky. I should be sponsored by Sky.

thejinx

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.

My mum told me that I wasn’t allowed to speak to her until I’d watched the first episode of this HBO show, which started airing on Sky Atlantic last week. Although it’s only just started, the whole series is available already on On Demand. Which is brilliant and important as you can’t watch one episode and not the next.

The six part documentary series starts with the discovery of a torso in a river and only gets weirder from there. Various unsolved crimes are covered in each episode, but there’s one common thread to them all – Robert Durst, of Manhattan’s billionaire Durst family.

Murder mysteries will always fascinate, but throw in New York’s property tycoons and upper classes and you have a recipe for addictive viewing. By the third episode I’d genuinely forgotten about the washed up torso, so that should give you an idea of how much is covered in the series….

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An update on WIWT.com…

Five and a half years ago I started a daily outfit blog called What I Wore Today on the now defunct blogging platform Posterous. The fashion blogging landscape has changed dramatically since that time, in part because people like me saw a rising trend for outfit based content and built sites like WIWT.com so anyone and everyone could become a fashion blogger.

While I may have only started my daily outfit blog as a bit of a joke, it grew into something brilliant.

As more and more fashionable types contacted me asking me to feature pictures of their outfits on my blog, I realised I was on to something and set about re-launching the blog as an outfit sharing social network that anyone could use to share outfits and get style inspiration.

In September 2011, WIWT.com v2 was launched with a corresponding iOS app (an Android app followed later) and that is still the site you see today.

wiwtscreenshot

The term ‘WIWT’ has become standard webspeak, at the time of writing there are 3,202,605 photos on Instagram hashtagged as #WIWT. THREE MILLION! People love sharing outfit content.

WIWT.com itself has 50,000 registered members who have actually ‘done something’ on the site, be it give an outfit a star, leave a comment or share a look. With zero advertising, PR or marketing spend, over 100,000 outfits have been uploaded from all over the world. But whilst the site remains a great source of fashion inspiration for many, I have not been able to give it the attention it deserves to grow it into the site I know it could be.

It’s an odd situation to be in. I never could have imagined that creating WIWT would lead to the opportunities it has… many of the spun-off collaborations have become near enough full time jobs in themselves. Unfortunately though, this has meant that I haven’t had the time or resources to devote to WIWT’s growth. I’ve been running the site all on my own for the last couple of years. I never had a co-founder or investors, even the agency which did such a fabulous job of building and designing the site doesn’t exist anymore.

Somebody else needs to take the reigns if WIWT is ever going to reach the next level of sartorial sassiness.

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COMPETITION! Win label.m goodies dressed in GILES

One of the coolest things I saw at LFW this season was a designer collaboration we can all get our hands on…the GILES x label.m 10 year anniversary collection.

labelmgiles

I’ve always *loved* Fashion Week, don’t get me wrong, but since working with TONI&GUY and label.m I’ve found myself enjoying LFW all the more, mostly because the hair and beauty side of catwalk shows is always going to seem that teeny weeny bit more attainable than the 6ft tall body ideal or the £3000 dress.

We can dream about the outfits that will land in Bond Street boutiques in six months time, but we can have a go at recreating the hair looks when we get home that evening. Granted, you may need to watch a YouTube tutorial or five, grow an extra arm or hope your best mate is a hairdresser, but you can have a go. And trying is part of the fun.

LFWlookscollageThe right kit is half the battle though. And where I once may have struggled to understand why you need any more than “just hairspray” or “maybe dry shampoo if I’m feeling really lazy”, my eyes have been opened over the last few years to the HUGE array of products that the pros rely on to create catwalk-worthy hair. I am now a dab hand at spotting a hair look that needs Resurrection Dust from a mile off…not to mention very well versed in justifying why we really do need crates of Volume Mousse in our bathroom. I am a woman converted.

label.m are the Official Haircare Product of London Fashion Week so their ever-growing range is a good place to start if you want to have a go at recreating all things runway. And as it’s their tenth birthday and the GILES collection is looking so darn *gorgeous* on my bathroom shelf, I thought it was about time we had another label.m competition.

YES!…

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