My descent into Rubik’s cube geekdoom

As a child, solving the Rubik’s cube was a true marker of brilliance.

When it arrived on the scene, there was simply no other toy like it.

Children’s playgrounds were dominated by the distinctive cube and most assumed it would be short lived as the latest flash-in-the-pan craze.









With over 350 million sold worldwide, the Rubik’s cube has surpassed language and cultural divides to establish itself as the top selling puzzle of all time.

A visit with my nephews recently reintroduced to me to this iconic toy and this time I was determined to solve the cube once for all!

I’ve been working at it, and not only have I learnt to solve it, but I’m chuffed with my current personal best time of 2m 51secs.

Sure, it pales in comparison to the current world record of 7.36 seconds, but I’m certainly not complaining. Quite the contrary, I feel like I just got a little bit smarter.

Here’s the video of the 2013 win by Aussie Feliks Zemdegs:

Hair tutorial: the basics of pin curls

Pin curls have been around since the 1920s and form the foundation of many vintage women’s hairstyles from the 1920s through to the 1950s.

In an era that is obsessed with hair-damaging curling irons, straighteners and hot rollers – pin curls are a wonderful way to create volume in your hair without damaging it.

Not only are pin curls better for your hair, but they also create a much more authentic curl. In fact, I would go so far as to say that they’re essential to any vintage hairstyling.

The 1920s tended to go for flat pin curls (such as in the video below), while the 1940s went for a stand up pin curl – as seen in these photos of Christine Aguilera.

The stand up pin curl gives much more volume than the flat version, and is generally a better choice if you’re looking for the big waves and curls of the 1950s hairdos. (Think Jessica Rabbit)









There are plenty of videos out there on pin curling, but I found this one to be the best example of precisely how to pin curl – despite the finished product (I like a much tighter curl and normally leave it overnight)



Top 3 favourite old school expressions

Just as every decade has it’s fads, so too it has it’s ‘language fashions’.

There are so many wonderful ‘old school’ words out there (and I’m not talking 80s – dudes) that it was really hard to chose my top 3 this week.

Nonetheless, here goes:

1. Swell

This is slang from the 30s and 40s and I love it because it fits into so many situations. It means great or fine, but it can also be used sarcastically too.

Here’s an example for you; ‘That was such a swell dinner last night!’ or… ‘Well that’s just swell! Thanks for telling everyone”

2. Cats Meow

This is 1920s lingo that means the ultimate in cool. To say that something is the cats meow is the same as saying it’s too cool for words. Given the weight of the word, you need to be careful with it as overuse will lose some of its value. You can also substitute the Cats Pajamas for the same meaning.

Here’s an example for you; ‘You really are the cats meow’

3. Heavens to Betsy!

The origins of this lovely old exclamation are early 20th Century, and although we will probably never know who Betsy really is – it still has great charm as an alternative swear word. You can use it as you would to curse, and the trick to making it work is your conviction: like most swear words I suggest practicing it by yourself until you can make it sound natural.

40s style: men’s hairstyles

Unlike the huge variety of women’s hairstyles in the 1940s, the typical 1940s man had three basic hairstyle choices: there was a pompadour, a slicked-down side-part or a military style crew cut.

The first two styles had a similar hair cut with the hair longer on the top, while the crew cut was a short buzzed cut with hair only slightly longer on the top.

Slicked-back hairstyles as my father wore, were flatter versions of essentially the same style, although slicked hair was considered more conservative.

And as with many things retro, the flat top version of the crew cut was to return to popularity in the 1980s as a ‘flat top’ and continues to be popular today.

This is Sinatra with a classic pompadour alongside the 80s flattop of Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV.

Which one do you prefer?

40s style: women’s hairstyles

As many of you know, I just love 1940s style hairdos.

Victory rolls, pin curls, side parts, sweeps and waves.

Whether you go for an old timey style, or a more modern burlesque feel – there is something so classy and glamorous about this look.

This is Rita Hayworth from 1946 alongside the modern version by burlesque model Dita von Teese.

Which one do you prefer?

Music I’m loving: Little Miss Higgins

I just love the old timey style of Little Miss Higgins. (

For a retro girl like me this music just gets my feet a-tapping. She’s got talent, attitude, a good dose of the blues, and that voice! (Oh, and did I mention she’s Canadian?)

This is ‘Saturday-afternoon-out-for-a-drive-in-the-sunshine’ music and you can get a little taste of it here: