Sunday, 29 July 2012


This weekend I went to Bath in the West Country. Not that many farmer accents like I expected. I took the short one night/one day trip to visit an old friend who I hadn't seen in nearly five years. We drank a whole lot of wine and spent a long time chatting the night away. The next day we went out after the morning rain had stopped and we parked our behinds in the The Porter, a quirky pub that serves veggie food (perfect!). We walked off our food, enjoying the sunshine and ended up sofa surfing and drinking tea for the rest of the afternoon. By the time I was on the train home, last night's wine had began to catch up with me and for the first time in a LONG time I had a cheeky nap on the train. I wonder if my mouth was hanging open. Was I snoring?! The horror. 
It was so nice to see you after such a long time, Molly.

Friday, 27 July 2012

New work clothes.

Hurray! Finally new season has landed in The Shop. This means new outfits to rock. It's such a shame that all the new colours are dark and wintery when summer has finally caught up with us. I'm so stubborn and childish that I struggle to dress myself, honestly the stress drives me insane, but I am my own worst enemy when it comes to fashion. I have all of these ideas that I think will look great and if I was going to make a look book then it would be amazing, but I'm in denial about my body shape and so I try on fifty outfits and only buy two. Thankfully there are some decent girls in work I can rely on to steer me in the right direction. I've got two new shiny outfits, one of which is so jazzy that it is worthy of a blog post. This belting electric blue shirt and floral capri pants combo. 

The second outfit is much more conservative, a very dark navy pinafore dress teamed with a long sleeved white shirt underneath. The above floral combo is so brave for little me. Perhaps it's therapy through outfits? Some kind of life change? I usually stick to boring, frumpy options as I said I choose loads of amazing items to try on and then find none of them suit me, be it colour or shape. So out of stress I end up buying boring, uninspiring comfy options. I can dress anyone, but myself. 
Can I just point out that the trousers are a size 16 but the shirt is a size 20! I have to say to all women that it doesn't matter what size it is on the label, I mean if it bothers you that much, just cut the label off. I have big bazoomas but really, size 20? Oh dear god, no. What happened to consistent sizing? This is an outrage. 
Anyway, it took me three hours with help from my very patient and extremely helpful coworkers to try on hundreds of clothes (thank you for going out and finding me so many options to try on) and I actually only bought two outfits. Now, I work five days a week, so of course this won't do. It means I have to put myself through the fitting room ordeal again. And soon. There's going to be a point when old season is taboo (socially and in the fashion retail workplace). There are only so many times you can cope with trying on outfit after outfit only to find your emotions being shot down by metaphorical army tanks. Turning round to look in the mirror to find what can only be described as me doing an impression of a sausage roll. My inner goddess is cowering in the corner, under a blanket, sobbing that the world is a dark and cruel place. As I left work with my purchase complete, I dragged my sorry self to the supermarket and bought a tub of ice cream, went home and fell asleep with nightmares of me in a comical sumo wrestling suit. 

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Chasing the dawn.

I've been working a lot of very early mornings for The Shop lately. Since this brief spell of spectacular weather has landed, the walk across the river to get the train is other worldly. I thought I'd share just how brilliant it is. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

New Vans!

Winning! Thanks to some nifty vouchers off Dad for my birthday a few weeks ago, a pretty new red pair of Classic Vans were waiting for me when I got home from work today (quite impressed, two day delivery from Schuh via Amazon). As my trusty black low rise Converse die an honourable death, these red hot babies have glided into my life. So very happy and really grateful. Thanks, Dad! xoxo

Monday, 23 July 2012

Don't go.

I've had my belly button pierced since my 15th birthday. 
I'd like to say it was some kind of rebellion, but my parents had made me wait already and said as long as I don't go crying to them if it goes bad then fair enough. I don't think I there was any reason to have it other than 'looking cool'. I liked the idea. I was a brat.

Eight years down the line I think it's growing out. When I had mine done, my Mam's grew out. The skin around the bar tightened until she had to remove it and watch the piercing close. Looking back, I think this is why I like my piercing now. A transitional thing.
Like it was my turn. When I look at it, it reminds me of the things she gave up for us. 
It seems the same is now happening to me. About a year ago I considered removing my bar and just letting it heal up. But now that I've had to take it out because I've ripped my skin by keeping it in I am a little hesitant. 
I had to put TCP on it, I swear I forget what that stuff burns like.

It's all a bit metaphorical really. For about two years I've felt like old news, boring. Well do you know what? I don't need to transform my body to show the world who I am. It was fun while it lasted and when I have a good day and I feel like it, yeah I'll flash my tattoo. So what if I haven't got metal in my skin? Does that make me boring? No! 
And if I'm boring, metal won't make a difference.

Yes I am sorry if this is the end for me and my piercing, I just hope we can salvage the situation.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Ministry of Mum.

This morning I began my sloth like routine, the same one I practise every day off I get from The Shop. I set my alarm for a decent eight thirty, with a successful day of getting-things-done ahead of me (think finishing the washing, mopping the floors, going to see my friend who I've been saying I'll visit for weeks now, head to the gym). This never happens and instead I make a huge pot of black coffee which I forget about because I drag my tired carcase back into the living room to wait for it brew. I punch the ON button on the telly and the virgin box and head to sky movies, anything will do but this morning I found Pretty Woman and with that all previous ideas of productivity are flung right out of the window (I live on the sixth floor). I click my touchpad on and wait for Twitter, Facebook and Hotmail to spring to life and reconnect me with the world. 

My favourite gal in the media spotlight is Cherry Healey, mostly known for her honest and witty documentaries like Drinking with the Girls, Cherry Has A Baby and currently airing How To Get A Life on BBC3 (Wednesdays at 9pm). Naturally I'm on the case and she was easy to find on Twitter (yes I'm a psycho stalker). My eyes quickly adjust to notice she's #FF'd @MinistryOfMum and is telling us how funny her blog is. What's that? My favourite telly lady making me check out a blog? This is what days off are all about. 

Claire's blog, Ministry Of Mum is fresh and brilliant. She's using her blog to retain an ounce of sanity while looking after her three little darlings. An outlet of her inner monologue, the same one we all have. That little voice that tells us 'yes, that other woman is much prettier, funnier, wealthier and graceful that you'. The voice that snickers when someone trips up and they deserved it. That voice that says 'it's alright, go on, do it, no one will know and if they do who cares?'. Her honesty is charming, so much so that even though I am not a mother myself I feel I can relate to the thin veil of despair covering her colourful and happy life. Claire is saying (or writing) what we all think about those we are responsible for and I applaud her for it. 

I think my favourite post of hers is about when she threw caution to the wind and while the elder two of her children were at school she gave control to her toddler and decided to do whatever he wanted to for six hours, beginning with eating chocolate cake for breakfast in their pyjamas on the roof of the car. Liberating, cute as a button stuff. 

Everyone visit her blog whether you're a parent or not. Here is someone worth listening to. 

p.s. The cartoon strip is Nemi by Lisa Myhre found in the back of the Metro paper which I see nearly every day in work.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


I've received two really gorgeous necklaces as birthday gifts, I just had to show you all.
The first is from my beautiful Mumma, a mysterious art deco bottle pendant from Accessorize. I have a beautiful pale pink skirt on the way from the Topshop Sale which will need a bit of sparkle and this will do perfectly. 

Then today in work I caught up with Fi where she handed over this absolutely lovely birthday package, the cutest card and this lovely necklace from Dolly Bow Bow. I'm actually in love with this online boutique, I've only just discovered it thanks to my gift from Fi. How thoughtful of her to get me an Eiffel Tower charm necklace, perfect for my return home from the French capital. So, so nice.

Thank you very much ladies :)

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Carmex lip balm.

I give you my new obsession, Carmex lip balm. Now, I've been a keen Vaseline enthusiast for quite some time (see my last post raving about the cocoa butter one) but it was only today when I realised I had left my trusty lip tin at home that I headed for Boots after work in search of some kind of relief. I'd heard a few people sing praise for this balm, but with it's almost clinical appearance I wasn't that excited. I've had a little look on their website and read that it does actually contain cocoa seed butter, so I don't feel so bad about abandoning my sad little Vaseline. You know, I actually started using Vaseline lip balm when I read in some teen magazine that the Spice Girls used it as everyday lip gloss and wow did I love the Spice Girls. Anyway, I was nicely surprised when I first used it. It contains all sorts of ingredients like menthol and beeswax and it makes your lips all numb and really tingly while it seals and removes any dead skin. It also lasts for absolutely ages! I used a bit as I headed home about three hours ago and they are still lip smackingly balmy. My new must have. 
To all of your Vaseline pushers, you're fighting a losing battle. Why even bother, y'know? ;) 

Monday, 9 July 2012

Fifty Shades.

I've been sucked in by the literary phenomenon that is Fifty Shades. I had no idea what it was about, but after the first chapter when it's nothing more than girl meets boy I was hooked. It is, for want of a better term, an erotic book. Reviews have dubbed it 'mummy porn'. The story follows an inexperienced girl and a control freak bloke who is totally broken, mentally. For those of you who want to read them I'll stop there. But it is proper kinky stuff. I thought I would be completely embarrassed, but surprisingly I wasn't. I was totally hooked though, it only took me a week to rinse all three (I know people who've read it in less, too). The psychology is just wonderful, you start to feel hungry for answers, why is he like this. As soon as I'd read the first book I was hyper trying to get my hands on the second one. I marched around the city to four different stores and only in the fifth did I get hold of 'Darker' and 'Freed'. The books are selling out, absolutely everywhere. Definitely worth a read. 

Now, the internet is a buzz with rumours of a movie. Most links and online discussions lead to nothing but wishlists of who wants which actors to play the leading roles. If I were to take part, I'd back Alexander Skarsgard for Grey. But anyway, how could they make a movie about it? How lewd would it be? Unless they were to play on the story, the psychological push and pull. It isn't all about bedroom antics. There are a whole array of pyschos and scenes they could work with. It all seems quite unlikely at the moment though. I'd go and see it though! xoxo

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Disneyland Paris.

So, after taking me to loads of wonderful fancy grown up stuff, Boyfriend was dying to get into Disneyland. 
With four years since I was last there too, it was pretty awesome to be back. They're currently celebrating their 20th year, so they have this cool projection show at night over the castle.  Of course, it helps if you speak a little French as some of the songs are translated. Wait for the Genie though. He's the best bit. 

As usual, it turns us into kids again. Our favourite rides are Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, Space Mountain, Rock 'n Rollercoaster with Aerosmith, the Hollywood Tower Hotel / Tower of Terror and Crush's Coaster. I still love the Mad Hatter's Tea Cups. They've also added a new Toy Story section in Walt Disney Studios, it's a bit kiddy but the theme is well developed and a must see for Toy Story fans.  

Sadly, it rained half the time we were there, but it didn't slow us down. We just bought waterproof plastic ponchos and kept going! I aslo picked up a Tigger-ears hairband. So naturally when I met Tigger at dinner he was very excited to see me wearing them. Honest now, I was underdressed as far as Disney costumes go at dinner. 

They've also got a Disney Dreams 20th Anniversary parade. It's pretty cheesey, but worth a watch if you're a big Disney fan. It features the most popular characters and someone has written a sickly song to go with it ("celebrate the joy and laughter, memories we'll keep long after").  The performers are quite good at interacting with the crowd, a pirate came up and stole my umbrella (he did bring it back).

After three days of stomping around and enjoying ourselves, we were totally knackered.

Still magic though. 

p.s. Don't go to Disneyland when the schools in Europe have broken up for summer holidays. The queues for the best rides are over an hour long. Take your phone for music and games, buy a drink and then stand in the queue to drink and enjoy your snacks there. Hell, at one point I wish I'd brought a swift fold away camping chair. Definitely recommend going May/September. 
It's not that kids shouldn't be allowed, I mean come on, it's Disneyland (but some of them are massive brats who need to pipe the #&£$ down). I think some of the parents need to back off too, what just because I'm 24 I don't have as much of a right to meet Woody as you're little angel? Back off, I got this.


I spent my 24th birthday in dreamy Paris. Okay, so it was hot and busy, but it was worth it. We went up the Eiffel tower. We walked half of the way up and then jumped in the lift for the second half. If you have the energy, I'd recommend you do this too, as the queues for the lift from the bottom are endless. I can't believe able looking people with no buggies or young children were that lazy. The queue to just walk half of it was only five minutes. Yes, it's a bit of a climb, but if I can do it, you probably can too as I'm pretty unfit. The views from even the first level are impressive as the city is quite flat, you can see for miles. I've included some pictures from the very top.

Later that evening we walked up to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner, I was all hot and tired from running around on the metro subway and up and down the Eiffel Tower, so I dressed casually, despite it being my birthday. Infact, I was dressed casually the whole time. This might have been as smart as it got! Once I had a birthday cosmo in my hand I couldn't have cared less about what I was wearing. To summarise my birthday = mad times on the french metro subway + visiting the Eiffel Tower + pretty summer dress + cheeky cocktails + comfort food. Amazing.

The next day we headed straight for the Avenue des Champs Elysees in search of breakfast. I must add that as my french is non existent (expect the usual bonjour, au revoir, merci, avez vous, je voudre, je ne comprends pas, parlez vous anglais...) and being vegetarian that I was quite limited in my food options. It's mostly carbs and cheese. I could read the ingredients on packets but that was as far as it got, finding out that everything had meat in it. In fact at one point I had to grit my teeth and bare it when there was nothing but a ham and cheese sandwich which Boyfriend had to pick the ham out of while I turned away. I might have to repress that memory. So my classic french breakfast was this, a cheese baguette and a double espresso. 

We proceeded to walk along Champs Elysees, famous for it's luxury shops, cafes and cinemas. The whole avenue is quite wide with a thick wall of traffic buzzing up and down, lined with conker trees. Like most of Paris, above the noisy babble of people and vehicles the buildings are ornate and grand. Twiddly little wrought iron balconies and tall windowed doors. 

On the west end of the avenue, in the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle you will find the majestic Arc de Triomphe. The monument honours those who fought and died for France in both world wars. Underneath it lies the tomb of an unnamed soldier from the first world war and on top burns and eternal flame which burns in memory of the dead who were never identified. Solemn, I know, but quite interesting.

 Our next stop was our bike ride tour of the city. I'm quite glad we made the trip to see the Arc de Triomphe as we didn't pass it on the tour (no doubt because of the dangerous traffic and the super busy pedestrian subway access). The company is called Fat Tire Bike Tours and it was the highlight of my stay in Paris. Our guide was called Pete was well informed, obviously a practised story teller and a good people person teaching us about motorists beeping at us meant 'Welcome To Paris' and how to 'DOMINATE' the road when the group needed to maneuver big traffic junctions in the city centre. I learned loads about the city and it's buildings and monuments. It was so fun whizzing around the city. Now I know all about King Louis the 14th who loved playing Apollo so much in a play that he decided he was the sun king. And about King Louis the 15th who was pretty much a Party King and left little but a square with his name on it at the suggestion of his favourite mistress. They also do tours in London, Barcelona and Berlin and segway tours if you want to give them a try and I recommend that you do! Here's the link to their website.

We cycled past the Ecole Militaire which is right by the Eiffel Tower where Napoleon ascended the ranks in the French Army, through the city to look at the symmetric architecture, past Les Invalides and it's Eglise du Dome (dome church!), the Pont Alexandre III, the Grand and Petit Palais, the Place de la Concorde (formerly known as Place Louis XV and then Place de la Revolucion) with it's massive Luxor Obelisk covered in hieroglyphs that the French won't give back to Egypt 'because it was a gift' and finally past the Louvre museum (I'm so gutted the museum was closed the days we were in town). The whole tour took about two and half hours and you have a pit stop half way through.

I look forward to trying out their Night Tour next time I visit Paris!

A perfect trip to Paris! xoxo