Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chloe Likes To Eat

A post-run Saturday Lunch: Homemade mushroom soup, cheese toastie on homemade rye bread and Orange Juice.

I'm a big love of soup, when having to feed myself (as opposed to being fed by my dad as I currently am) I eat soup probably 5 times a week. Homemade soup is my preference, but soups like Covent Garden are awesome (and great to shove in the freezer 10 packs at a time when they're on offer!) too.

Soup lovers, make yourselves known.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Legal Life

A day in my legal life.

Line 1. 0700  Getting dressed. Making myself look like a human being, well ish. Every train journey needs...
Line 2. 0830 My pretty coffee. Starting my day with research. Morning meetings.
Line 3. 1330 Lunch is up. Friday purchase. Sparkles.
Line 4. 1530 Messy desk. Afternoon pick-me-up. Nose to the grindstone.
Line 5. 1630 Snacking. Rounding of the day. Dinner.

I wore: Printed shift dress from Asda (and necessary cardigan, opaque tights and fluffy scarf).
I ate: M&S BLT (it was REALLY good), Yu! dried cherry pieces, a cheeky piece of Daim cupcake, split with Imogen, Cheese.
Highlights: Morning coffee, project progress in the morning meeting, after work wine.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


He is seriously the biggest pain in the behind, but he can, occasionally be quite cute. Thought I'd share a few recent captures of the hound.

He sleeps. A lot. Can you tell? I'm not envious, much.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chloe Likes To Eat

In keeping with the German theme of the majority of my hot drinks after my little parcel of German Joy.... Kaffee und Kuchen.

My personal favourite machine in the kitchen and the last wedge slice of Christmas Cake.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Never Mind Abigail, It's MY Party Too

Shoes. Shoes are are particular love of mine. I don't have the biggest collection or the most expensive.
But to me, there's a certain joy in shoes. A shoe can alter your outfit from one thing to another- the dress I wore to my graduation with sky high black suede court shoes, is the same dress I regularly wear to work in a legal practice with simple black flats, or grey ones, or my latest favourites, heeled ankle boots.

When debating a favourite pair on the Sarenza website, I had a good browse. I was almost swayed by this beautiful pair of Missoni Nikolea Flats but then I realised that my absolute favourite pair of shoes, on the entire Sarenza website, and trust me, that's a lot of shoes, are these ones.

Abigails Party Too, Irregular Choice at Sarenza

Now before you all shout out at once, yes I know, I have featured these before. And the truth is, I still want them just as much as I did back in October and even better, they're now reduced by a substantial amount. I'm praying a pair of size fives last out until payday.

Initially I was drawn to these as party shoes. I know I would wear these for dinner out, for parties and for Big Nights Out. But these days, I reckon they fall nicely into the shoe category that I justify with the name 'just-because-I'm-a-solicitor (in training)- doesn't-mean-I'm-boring' category. I reckon they'd look pretty sweet with that simple black dress in the office (I can hear the shoe envy amongst my colleagues already), I reckon they're be a great accompaniment to my leather trousers- giving me the texture that they need in a shoe, Oh and let's not forget how awesome they would be to spruce up black skinny jeans and a simple knit. In short, I think these shoes are probably the answer to all my shoe scenarios.

Oh, did I mention they have epic soles?

I'm not sure there will ever be enough shoes in my collection, but to me, every new shoe should fill you with this kind of excitement and enthusiasm. The speculating over what the first outfit they're worn with will be, and how they will fit with your favourite or most worn items. How your friends or family might admire them.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Did You Sail Away Over Some Distant Ocean

This last week has been a pretty hectic one, and already the second full week of January is almost done, but it's been punctuated with a couple of little treats... Last week my parents were away and my partner was in Germany on a skeleton bob sleigh trip (I've taken to calling him Tea Tray T), and they came back with gifts from foreign lands. 

Some reminders of Deutschland. Home from home. And a Yellow Postcard to add to my collection.

A selection of some yummy chocolate, I can take or leave Milka itself, it's the things they put in it.... DAIM! 
Lemon, Ginger and Cardamom tea
Kuhflecken Chocolate- Fresian Chocolate in other words, Kuhflecken translates literally to Cow Spots
Apple Tea- my absolute favourite thing from DE, and something I've found difficult to get in the UK, let alone at a decent price. 
Rosehip and Hisbiscus Tea- a new one for me to try, but it smells lovely. 

I guess, for me, this package is brilliant not because of where it came from or the value of it or even to a certain point what it contained. It's the thought behind it. I'd forgotten I'd even told T about my love of Apple Tea and my inabilities to get it, let alone expected him to remember whilst he was out in Germany. I know some people might be less than excited to receive a package of tea, chocolate and a postcard, but some serious thought went into this, and things like this are such a reminder... It's the little things. 

Watch, Spain.

Mis padres were in slightly warmer climes, Spain. And this is a thank-you for business/dog/house sitting whilst they were gone. It comes from a favourite shop in Malaga airport that sells all sorts of jewellery and every coloured pashmina known to man. 

The real beauty of this find? It's not a guys style. My everyday watch is a men's style, and I love it, I do, male or female, because I need something a little less delicate than most women's styles. But you don't get sparkles and leopard print on a men's watch..... Expect to see it in outfit post or ten soon. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chloe Likes To Eat

Now, don't faint in shock or horror, but this is something I cooked. Yes me, not my Dad, not a restaurant chef, moi! I can cook, for those of you wondering, it's just that I don't need to most of the time. That said, I'm quite lazy when it comes to cooking for one, and this is a fairly typical Chloe-home-alone-can't-be-bothered meal.

The plate.
Roasted new potatoes.
Supermarket breaded cod fillet.
My current vegetable obsession, green beans. 

I love things like these supermarket breaded cod fillets, they're great to shove in the freezer for lazy evenings, or working late etc. I topped mine with a touch of grated cheddar for a bit of sharpness. The overall beauty of this particular dinner, it took all of 10 minutes to prep. The potatoes were par-boiled, then went onto a tray in the oven with the smallest drizzle of olive oil and pepper, the fish joined the potatoes, 20 minutes later the beans went into boiling water for 4-5 minutes as the fish had the cheese added to the top just before serving. Those 20 minutes in the middle were used to do some ironing.

Healthy, balanced, quick and simple. Perfection.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Life's Gone Cold

Grey dress/tunic thing, ASOS
Lightweight jersey blazer, ASOS
Leggings, Primark
Scarf, Odd Socks Alex
Bag, Christmas Gift from TG via ASOS

I've had this grey printed dress, which is now a bit to short to be a dress, certainly not to be worn without leggings these days, for over a year, and I still love it just as much. It's a simple solution for work, home, uni, pretty much anything, and even better, I wear it both back to front and the right way round. To explain, I never really worked out which whether it has a V back or V neck, the label is tiny, and it works just as well either way, so depending on how I feel of a morning, depends how I wear it.

I'm yet to go a day without my scarf which Alex made for me, and it's the only thing even close to cosy enough for the freezing weather today. Topped off with my awesome bag that's actually big enough for two Tort Law casebooks and my notes- essay writing ahoy, and my indestructible boots.

Boots, Steve Madden

This weekend will mostly be spent drinking tea, writing essays and trying to avoid going outside too much. It's super cold, and I'm still trying to kick a chest infection. I decided last night that I would go running today, illness be damned. And so I did, and I also learned the error of my ways.

Have a nice weekend all. PLEASE tell me it's marginally more exciting than mine?


Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Get By

Things I have learned this week: Dogs are a pain in the behind. I'm highly fortunate to have nice friends on my GDL. If in doubt, Jelly Beans and Chai Tea will make it better. Leggings are my friends.

Jumper, Primark
Black Vest, H&M
Leggings, Topshop, £20
Shoes, H&M
Necklace, Gift

Still recovering from lurgy, I now sound like a seal when I cough, much to the amusement of my friend Chris! I've decided that Chai Tea (This Teapigs version, a gift from TG this Christmas, he knows me so well) and Jelly Beans are the cure to said Lurgy, and so far, it seems to be working. I'm also really enjoying easy to wear clothing and these leggings are just perfection.

I was a bit unsure at first. And it wasn't the fact that they're leggings, but the colour. I loved them in the shop, then got home and thought... eeeek garish colour. But I've come back around again. The thing I love most is that they're a bit of a cross between denim leggings and cotton, so they're a bit heavier, to warrant being more like trousers, but without being denim. Perfect for days filled with wheezing, snotty noses and awkward customers. And although I wouldn't call these a bargain, I do think they're a just price at £20 (or £18, if you have a student discount....).

Things that have also made me feel better this week, a bit of help from friends. My last GDL essay of the semester is due next week and a couple of friends and I have been struggling. But, because we're writing different essays (we got to pick and choose which ones we did and handed in when...) we've been able to help each other to a certain degree. Natalie and Chris wandered of post-seminar on Tuesday with all of my Contract Law notes, my text book and the Contract essay which I got high marks for. In turn, Natalie sent me away with her Tort Law essay, recommendations for which books in the library would be most helpful and a bit of advice on what exactly "Critically comment..." means.

Having made a start on using some of this info, what really struck me, is that this is how it should be. Helping each other out and being nice to each other. It's such a world away from my experience at university for my undergrad, that this is a real novelty for me. But actually, it's the most natural set up in the world.

I'd best be getting back to me essay writing. Sadly, this is not one of the modules that I find quite so interesting, But the show must go on. Fueled by cake. And Chai.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chloe Likes To Eat

As it was TG's last night before heading back to Londres, we headed to our favourite restaurant last week. Having forgotten that it was steak night, a difficult choice with the menu was suddenly made simple.

As if you couldn't tell, these are mobile photos.

Steak, onion rings, chips, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppercorn sauce. Perfection. I really really love a decent piece of steak, and I love it all the more when it's served simply like this. Added benefit to Steak Night? None of the clearing up to do!

I am, at present feeling pretty horrendous. Some kind of cold has knocked me for six, and I'm willing it to disappear quickly. Of all weeks, I could have done without feeling rough this week. I have also decided that these are a partial cure to the common cold. Or at least the should be!

Jelly Beans, Christmas Gift from TG

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sometimes, I Get A Good Feeling

Hello Weekend! For some reason, despite having had a bit of time off over Christmas, and not even working a full week this week, I'm pretty shattered. But despite being tired, nothing quite beats the feeling of hitting the half way point on my run, an epic dance track blasting, and feeling as though anything is possible. Unfortunately a couple of the young families and older couples walking on the promenade where I run may have been a bit creeped out by my manic grinning as I ran past....

Now I'm showered, clean and still riding the last of my endorphin high, I thought I'd share another sale bargain with you, and a picture of my mug, since I've not done many What I Wore posts in the last couple of months.

Martha Jeans, £25 with 10% student discount, from £40. Topshop
T-Shirt, Primark
Shoes, £8, from £19.99, New Look.

When perusing the Topshop sale online on Christmas Eve, I was delighted and a bit nervous in equal measures. There were my very favourite straight leg Martha jeans, which are a nightmare to find in store, reduced by almost half. I didn't hesitate to buy a pair, even though they're a little on the large side, but I have a horrible feeling they may be discontinued. For now though, I'm determined to enjoy.

My other sale bargain is the pair of leather shoes. Yes, real leather. Reduced from £19.99 to £8 when I wandered into New Look. I've been on the hunt for some new tan coloured flats for ages, so I was really rather smug having found some nice ones, in real leather, at a bargain price.

Shoes, New Look

Also making me happy, this necklace that Ayden sent me at the back end of last year.

What's not to love?

I also have a little helper for the coming week, as I'm house/business sitting...

Don't be fooled by the eyes, he's a demon with barking in the morning and right now is snoring so loudly that I can hear him over the new Rihanna album playing on my speakers.....

Happy weekend to the staggering 180 of you now following Chloe Likes To Talk, thanks for coming to visit, and here's hoping I haven't put you off with pictures of me and the festering hound.....

I'm off to scoff some Panettone, meet a friend at the station and indulge in chinese food, a bottle of something and a chilled out evening.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Puss In Boots

I unintentionally ended up browsing the sales when I was in town to do something else last week, and spotted these. They are what I might call a fate purchase- they were exactly what I've been looking for, in exactly the right size and seriously reduced....

Boots, Topshop £31.50 reduced from £75 to £35 and a student discount applied.

Yes, new boots. I've been after some black ankle boots for ages, and when I spotted these, they shouted perfection in a variety of ways. They were also the very last pair I could see, in my size or any other, so I grabbed them quickly!

So far I've worn them with jeans, with leggings and a shirt and with a dress. I also wore them like this, with this particular favourite to go out for dinner last night....

Merino Wool Dress, Uniqlo

Boots, Topshop

I feel a bit of a walking Topshop advert at the moment, as I managed a couple of cheeky online sale purchases, which you'll see as I start to wear them and as for footwear, well it's either these babies or my Cat Slippers...


Monday, January 2, 2012

Chloe Likes To Eat

Last year for New Years Eve, we had our neighbours and friends join us for a Lebanese Banquet, this year, we once again had our neighbours join us for dinner, except this year, we had a (loosely themed) Italian Dinner in the run up to the chimes.

First up (after a Champagne cocktail and a Vodka clear out...) an Anti-Pasto plate served with some homemade focaccia breads. Apologies for useless picture, lighting was not at a premium...

Smoked salmon, fresh fig, Manchego cheese, more fig, melon, salami, cream cheese with cracked black pepper., more salami, rocket salad and parmesan crisp (centre).

Next, the main course. Chicken a la Romana. This is adapted from a favourite of my dad, Veal a la Romana. The chicken is batted out, sprinkled with chopped sage, layered with Parma Ham and then rolled up, coated in bread crumbs and fried.

The whole dish- Chicken a la Romana, polenta chips, green beans, thyme roasted tomatoes, masala and mushroom veloutte sauce.

Chicken, layered with sage and Parma ham, coated in breadcrumbs, fried and sliced in half.

Polenta chips- polenta made in the Thermomix, set in a square flat dish, sliced and then shallow fried.

Cherry tomatoes roasted with thyme and olive oil.

Dessert. As is tradition in our house, we had a chocolate Panettone for Christmas and this is how we served it for a desert on our Italian theme...

Dessert Plate- Chocolate panettone, Ameretto Mascarpone, iced coffee shot, bitter orange and star anise sorbet, caramel sauce.

Our Panettone.

Bitter Orange sorbet lightly flavoured with star anise. Chilled Heaven.

Iced coffee in a shot glass. Memories of my uncle Franco who makes his. More chilled heaven and just right with the other flavours on the plate.

So there you have it, New Year at Chloe Likes To Talk HQ. I can't wait to really crack on with 2012 and see what can be achieved. Hope you all had a lovely time, and all the very best New Year wishes.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Moving On Up

Having officially said goodbye to 2011, I've had a little time to reflect on it. If you've been following CLTT through the year, you'll know it's been a mixed one, and that it has had a tough start to it. Looking back on my blog has been a good way of watching how the year progressed, and as my own little corner of online, I wanted to sum up 2011. So here goes.

January-February 2011.

At the start of 2011 I was still an undergrad student. And I was miserable. Many will know that my final year was difficult for many reasons, not least the people around me. I desperately did not want to go back to uni in January and February didn't see it get any better.

What did make it doable was support from family, reminders that it would all end at some stage, and some visits from TG.

A VERY windy and cold February walk in North Wales with TG.

I listened to: Rihanna, Only Girl. Faithless, Sun To Me. Florence + The Machine, Heavy In Your Arms.

March-April 2011

As spring approached I struggled with my health in a big way, making the 4.5-5 hour trip home for Dr/Hospital appointments became a 3-4 weekly occurrence and with my final year workload and the added stress of a difficult living situation, things were tough. But I still managed to find some fun.

March brought with it my grandparents' Golden Wedding Anniversary- a chance to celebrate with them and catch up with family I don't often see.

My grandparents at their Golden Wedding celebration.

The Rabble, my family and extended family at my grandparents Golden Wedding celebrations.

March and April also saw me get through interviews for a job I thought would be great, and whilst I came close to having a job offer on the table, I ended up realising that maybe recruitment as a career, wasn't really for me. I was still pleased to see that my CV was doing its job and it appeared I would be employable in some capacity or another.

April was a big month for my blog too. I decided to change the name and the focus of my blog. Chloe Likes To Talk came into being as it is now, and rather than trying to be a fashion blogger, I settled into rambling on about whatever was going on in my life. As well as the overhaul, April was also the month that I brought I'm Not Afraid, To Take A Stand to the blog. Having realised the impact of bullying in adulthood, these three inspirational ladies shared their experiences after I had written about mine.

I listened to: Rihanna, S&M. Aim, Cold Water Music. Robert Miles, Children. Example, Hooligans.

May-June 2011

What a time this was. In May I sat my finals and on my 22nd Birthday just about 24 hours after finishing my last exam, I went with friends to get our degree results. Getting my degree was the biggest achievement of the year, and celebrating with my friends afterwards reminded me exactly why I'd put up with such a miserable 6 months leading up to this point.

Tom, Dev and I, 3rd June 2011. The Modern Languages Triple Major class of 2011.

And as well as my birthday in June, we celebrated TG's in May.

Celebrating TG's birthday in London.

I also managed to sneak away for a holiday in June, after all the hard work through the exam period, it was much welcomed, and I got to show off my tan as I came back to another family Golden Wedding Celebration.

Post Holiday, and one of this year's better outfit posts.

I listened to: Example, Changed The Way You Kissed Me. Swedish House Mafia, Miami To Ibiza. Katy Perry, Hummingbird Heartbeat.

July-August 2011

This part of the summer was hugely indecisive. I struggled to find a direction when applying for jobs and TG was also trying to work out how to progress his career. Between us there were a lot of tough decisions to be made. In the end, TG secured his place at a London university, and I was able to put in an application for the Air Force.

Having started the RAF application process, I also decided I wanted more from a career than head hunting and recruitment could offer me. I decided at the end of of August to do the one thing nobody- including me, thought I would ever choose, a Post-Grad course, to gain my legal qualifications. This is by and large thanks to spending some time with a solicitor who offered me work experience, a bit of guidance and who became (in a closest-possible description) my mentor.

A low point in August- it rained like hell, here in The North.

It rained like fury here in the North for the end of the summer, which meant I got wet, a lot, as I started training for Air Force selection. One of the best things about this part of my year was taking up running. I realised I loved it when I decided to run the Berlin Half Marathon in 2012. There'll be more on that soon, as I have a lot to talk about- well the blog is called Chloe LIKES to TALK?!

But by far the highlight of the summer and the year.

Proud Parents

Chloe Martin-Brown BA Hons, French, German and Spanish. The Triple Major Language Class, 2011. Bangor University.

I was one of just 9 people in the country graduating with a 3 language degree where they were all majors and I'd spent time abroad for all 3 languages. After the blood, sweat and tears, quite literally, that went into my degree I was suitably proud of myself for making it to the gown-and-stupid-hat-that-doesn't-fit stage.

I listened to: The Pierces, It Will Not Be Forgotten. Ferry Corsten, Made Of Love. Oasis, Acquiesce.

September-October 2011

The start of September brought with it some huge changes to my life. TG and I realised we'd been together a year and reflected on how much we had both changed and how much our lives had changed in that 12 months. We also said goodbye to each other as he started university and I started my post-graduate course.

TG and I, September 2010. How it all started.

Starting my GDL turned out to be overwhelmingly positive. I found that I loved it, despite the volume of work to do and I found that I'm actually pretty good at it. Coupled with my work experience, I knew I'd made the right choice following a potential law career.

As Autumn got into full swing, law stopped being a potential career and became my plan A. I was notified by the RAF that I had been declared permanently unfit for all service due to a weak muscle in my right eye, and devastated didn't even begin to cover it. I wrote about picking myself up from it, but it was hard, and whilst I support TG 100% to pursue a career with the Army, it was painful to do in these months.

I listened to: Nicki Minaj, Where Them Girls At. Adele, Someone Like You. Kelly Rowland, Commander. Snoop Dogg, Sweat.

November-December 2011

Winter has come with its own challenges, maintaining a relationship, balancing my job, work experience, my GDL and studies to go with it. But coming top of my GDL class and having made some friends on my course has made it seem so much more possible than my language degree ever did.

I managed a few trips in November and December. London with TG, despite a rocky time for our relationship was a memorable trip if only for the Example show we'd had tickets for since July.

Example at Brixton Academy, December 2011.

I also made it up to Glasgow to a first blog meet and got to meet Ayden, who has extended the hand of friendship this year.

Memories of Glasgow.

If you made it this far, kudos, it's been one hell of a year and a long post. If nothing else, I have learned a lot this year and am moving into 2012 with a sense of purpose and a plan.

I listened to: Example, Skies Don't Lie. Avicii, Levels. Jens O, All The Things She Said. Coldplay, Fix You. Fatboy Slim, Right Here, Right Now.

To all of you, I wish you a very Happy New Year 2012 and all the very best for the coming 12 months and thank you for your own part in making 2011 here on Chloe Likes To Talk.