28 January 2018

Rainy day

This weekend, my friend Queenie came to Bournemouth for a day of eating, beaching and shopping. In our minds, it'd be a photogenic blogging day. Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas and decided to rain. A lot! It was also freezing and insanely windy - not quite what we'd imagined. 

Luckily, post-Cosy Club brunch and high street splurge, the rain eased off and we ambled to the beach for sunset. There was just enough light to get some photographs! 

We have no shame.

What I wore:

Coat and dress - Primark | Shirt - Uniqlo | Beret - Accessorize | Bag - Cambridge Satchel Co. | Boots - Office | Scarf - Miss Selfridge

Quick note: I love my Cambridge Satchel Co. bag! I've been using it every day for a few months now and it's as handy as it is stylish. Not many normal-sized bags can comfortably carry my big DSLR camera (along with my purse, keys etc), but the traveller bag does it perfectly. I've had loads of compliments on the design, which is based on those vintage camera bags - so it's pretty fitting and always makes me feel like I'm about to go on an adventure!  

Once the sun well and truly disappeared, we headed back into Bournemouth for dinner (Ask Italian for cheese fondue, seafood pasta and cannelloni). It was such a fun day, and I managed to rack up an impressive 16,000 steps. Today, my feet hurt from the walking and my cheeks still kinda ache from all the laughing!

Thank you, Queenie Lee!

It probably won't surprise you to know that we had loads of outtakes. So I've decided to turn them into their own little post - coming soon! xx

2 January 2018

Do you need a Nana Night?

'What are you up to tonight?’

‘Oh, I am so jealous! Are you having a Nana Night?’

That’s a pretty typical conversation between my friend Jas and me. When we first met, we bonded over a love of evenings in, bubble baths, baking and dressing gowns – and the phrase 'Nana Night' was born. Over the last couple of years, we’ve become convinced that Nana Nights are the secret key to happiness. They’re a chance to unwind, recharge and relax.

What happens on a Nana Night? 

Any of the following:
  • Home-cooked comfort food
  • Delicious baked goods
  • Lighting candles
  • Pyjamas and/or a cosy dressing gown (slippers optional)
  • Crafting, stitching, knitting or painting 
  • Watching something nice (Great British Bake Off, anyone?)
  • A soak in the tub
  • A good book
  • A spot of pampering
  • Internet shopping for homeware
  • Cuddles with pets
  • An early night.

Nikki's Nana Night

Get yourself on Good Food and pick out a delicious dinner. Will it be a lasagne with bacon? Honey mustard chicken? Honey chipotle pulled pork? I'm really sorry if you're vegan or vegetarian, I'm horribly carnivorous (but trying to cut down this year). 

Peel off your functional human outfit and put on your favourite, cosiest pyjamas. If you're in need of inspiration, here are a few pairs I've spotted online: 

Next, pick something nice to watch. Nothing too high-stress. Now that Friends is on Netflix, I'm basically covered for the next few weeks! Other suggestions are: Master of None, Cuckoo or Friday Night Dinner. Or pick a film. You can't go wrong with a classic 90s movie that involves Meg Ryan and/or Tom Hanks. Although I've recently developed a love for Carrie Pilby and The Fundamentals of Caring (both on Netflix). 

If you'd rather avoid screens for your Nana Night, pick up a good book and draw yourself a bath. My favourite books at the moment are:
  • Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
  • Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
  • Anything written by Lindsey Kelk
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (that's my nana side creeping out)
  • Bossy Pants by Tina Fey.

My super-cool hobby

One of my Nana Night activities is cross stitching.

Before you laugh, I think it gets a bad rep. It's cooler than it sounds. Because I'm not embroidering cottages or flowers or 'home sweet home'. I cross stitch my favourite things: swearing and cityscapes.

And whenever I stitch, I'm totally focussed and in the zone. It doesn't leave room for worrying, obsessing or stressing. That's exactly what mindfulness is. But it's better than meditating because you get some pretty cool results:

The benefits

We all need the odd night of looking after ourselves – if I go a week without a Nana Night, I'm the crankiest thing. 

They make me feel calmer, cared for and well-rested. I get cool cross stitches and delicious baked goods. Thanks to my penchant for Bake Off and Pinterest, I could cater a small get-together – and the food would be pretty darn good.

Another benefit?  You won't feel sleep deprived and you're nearly always comfy (lounge wear or pyjamas beats skinny jeans every time). 

You may even acquire some level of maturity and wisdom after a few Nana Nights. It's either osmosis from the granny-esque activities or the knowledge from all those books and films. 

I think Nana Nights are all about feeling relaxed and content, which can never be a bad thing. 

Welcome to Granny Club, my loves. You won't regret it!
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