20 May 2018

Weekly round-up #3


Hello guys,

I hope you've had a lovely weekend !

I did something a little scary yesterday. I filmed, edited and uploaded a beauty tutorial. I know, I know. It's my everyday make-up look, using all cruelty-free brands (because animal testing sucks). If you'd like to have a nosy at the products, see how I do my make-up, or giggle at all the minor mishaps I have, take a look:


Back to the weekly round-up:

WHAT I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO:

  • Dolly Alderton's Love Stories podcast. Author Dolly Alderton chats to guests about their defining relationships: heartbreak, passion, and everlasting love. Earlier this week, I listened to her interview with the epic Emma Freud. As her partner is Richard Curtis, she has plenty of brilliant stories to share. 
  • Paris Summer by The Last Shadow Puppets (feat Alison Mosshart). I've loved this (cover) song for years, but I recently rediscovered it after creating a little Paris-themed playlist to get excited for my upcoming trip! Alison Mosshart is such a babe, too. 

WORTH CHECKING OUT:

  • It was #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, and I was touched and empowered by how many people shared their stories. So, so many of us have mental health issues and I think that being honest and talking about our struggles will make a big difference. Let's normalise the conversation. 
  • The Happy Not Perfect app, made by Poppy Jamie. Apparently, long-term, it'll help hack your brain to combat stress and anxiety. I've also heard it described as 'mindfulness for millennials'. I've been using it for a few days (it only just launched) and I do like it. Especially the bits where you get to write down what's bothering you and digitally burn it.
My local stretch of sand. Perfect for walking barefoot and relaxing. 

WHAT I'M GRATEFUL FOR:

  • Living by the beach, so I can go for sunset strolls with my best friend. 
  • Discovering bullet journalling, because it chills me right out, is a great creative outlet, and helps me organise my life. 
  • Sunny weekends, so I can read my book in the garden and relax (yep, I'm 80 years old).
My half-finished weekly layout. I'll add my to-do list, fun events and keep track of what I'm eating (don't worry, it's not a diet – I'm just trying to eat healthier and get my 5-a-day in!)

Next weekend will be busy, between prepping for Paris and hanging out with Queenie. But I hope I'll get to post! See you soon xxx
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13 May 2018

Weekly round-up #2


Hello friends,

I'm back for another round!

So, what's new? Well, my thoughts for the week can basically be summed up with this tweet:


It was a stressful time for me.

What I've been listening to:

I don't even remember the first half of the week, all my Spotify cares about is the new Arctic Monkeys album that dropped on Friday (but arrived on my doorstep on Thursday, yay for pre-orders!)

Search 'Arctic Monkeys' on Twitter and you'll see it's a divisive album. I must admit, I didn't love it immediately. But then again, it's fairly rare for me to fall in love with music on a first listen.

Thankfully TBH+C has grown on me. I'd even go so far as to say I'm a bit obsessed with Four Out Of Five (and The Ultracheese). I've had the opening refrain stuck in my head all weekend.

Oh, oh, and of course the other thing I've had on repeat is Childish Gambino's This Is America. That video? I suspect kids'll be studying it in Media Studies in a couple of years. There's nothing I can say here that hasn't already been dissected on Twitter, so I'll simmer down.

By the way, who else is super excited to hear CG as Simba in the Lion King? Bring on 2019.

What I've been watching:

I've been on a Brooklyn Nine-Nine binge recently, so I'm sure you'll all understand how devastated I was to learn it was being cancelled. Until yesterday, when I heard the beautiful news it had been picked up by NBC. THANK YOU, NBC. I LOVE YOU.

I wish I could bingewatch Riverdale too instead of having to wait a week (or several weeks, ugh) between episodes. My nerves can't cope, last Thursday I actually shouted at the TV during the cliffhanger ending.

I'm fully aware Riverdale is kind of trashy/terrible. On the surface, it's like a dark, sexy, cringy version of Scooby Doo. But I get so suckered in. I need to know who the Black Hood murderer is. I must find out what happens to the characters. I'm totally emotionally invested now. Besides, I've never watched an episode of Love Island, so I'm allowed this as my trashy TV quota, right?

This Thursday is the finale, so I'm preparing to be on the edge of my seat – especially if anything has happened to my favourite guy, Jughead Jones.

What I've been cooking:

I live with my younger sister and we decided to make a big ole effort with our cooking last week. Our favourite dishes? The chicken and chorizo jambalaya, the honey and mustard chicken dish, and our antipasti banquet (see below)!
They've left me feeing really inspired to keep trying out new dishes and expand my cooking repertoire. Do you have any suggestions on what to try next? They'd be greatly appreciated!


Worth a quick read:

  • Have you followed Jameela Jamil's I Weigh account yet? It encourages woman to see themselves as their achievements in life: their friendships and families, their scholastic successes or career highlights, the battles they've fought and the scars they've accepted. Not their weight or body size. The Financial Times did a lovely piece on Jameela and I Weigh. Take a look.  
  • Did you guys watch Queer Eye? Its like chicken soup for the soul! My heart was warmed by the news that Tom and Abby are now remarried! His episode was my favourite of all the Queer Eye makeovers. Celebratory redneck margaritas for everyone!
  • Poppy Jamie has created a new app called Happy Not Perfect, to show technology can be used to improve our mental health and wellbeing. Sign. Me. Up. (I've pre-ordered it). 
  • The news that the Marvel universe is becoming more diverse with Ms Marvel, a Pakistani-American teenage girl, is rather a cheery beacon in a world that increasingly makes me want to face plant my own desk. 

That's all for this week! I'll be back soon with inspiring women, DNA tests, and bullet journaling. 

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7 May 2018

Weekly round-up #1

Hello everyone,

In a bid to distract myself from a wonderful bank holiday drawing to a close, I decided to create a little weekly round-up.

I'd love to write a short post every weekend, sharing a few of my favourite things with you. It's nice to start a new week with a fresh dash of inspiration, right?

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO:

  • George Ezra's latest album, Staying at Tamara's. It's bursting at the seams with deliciously upbeat summery tracks. Normally the phrase 'summer anthem' makes me feel queasy, but I genuinely can't think of a better phrase to describe these gorgeous tunes. I love the storytelling of his album too, as it starts off with songs about his feelings of anxiety and needing to get away, before moving swiftly onto numbers about hot climates, paradise, happiness and love.
    It's one of those albums that makes you feel like it's going to be OK. And I think we all need a dose of that in our lives. Listen to Shotgun for the ultimate summer song.
  • The Fringe of It. I love listening to Liv and Charlotte's podcast, because it feels like I'm sitting with two of my favourite friends, just talking about whatever takes our fancy.
  • Fearne Cotton's podcast: Happy Place. She talks to celebrities about their lives, focusing on what makes them happy and how they've achieved their success. It's such a lovely thing to listen to, and I always leave with a few tips on making my life a happier place too. I particularly adored the Dawn French episode.
  • Primal Heart by Kimbra. Such a beautifully crafted album. If your main point of reference for Kimbra is 'the girl on that Gotye song who looks a bit like Katy Perry', you owe it to yourself to check out her latest musical offerings. She's a talented lady, that Kimbra, layering rich, swirling musical landscapes with abstract, poetic lyrics. Her repertoire in this album stretches from heavy R'n'B beats to twinkling electronica to upbeat pop. It's quite something.
    The catchy, off-beat songs will leave you feeling strong and empowered.  One of her weirdest songs, Top of the World, is my favourite. 

WHAT I'M READING:

  • Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie. I've been reading this book all weekend, I'm absolutely hooked. (FYI, I still can't work out who dunnit.)
  • Blog: New Darlings. Since discovering Christina and Robert on Instagram, I've been an avid reader of their blog. Everything is so beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. 

WHAT I'M WEARING:

  • A checked blazer from H&M. It smartens up any outfit, even your old jeans. I can't wear it to the office without someone asking if I have a job interview or a hot date. I've linked a similar one below.
  • A yellow dress from ASOS. I'm suddenly very into wrap dresses and I love this bright, summery floral number. Actual dress linked below!
  • A bardot neckline and checked shorts. You can't go wrong with a bardot top, especially when it's this sunny! Teamed with Topshop Mom shorts. Similar below.

WHAT I'M CELEBRATING:

  • The launch of a campaign I've been working on. When I saw I'd be writing the content for this campaign, from beginning to end, I was a little daunted but incredibly excited. It meant getting to craft copy for all sorts of mediums: packs, posters, web pages, films, social media – all sorts! It's been a fantastic learning opportunity (without sounding too uncool), and I'll be following the campaign's progress on Twitter. Fingers crossed it does well!
  • Going completely cruelty-free with my make-up. Can you believe so many big brands still test on animals? I've been slowly phasing them out of my life (talking to you, Revlon, Maybelline, MAC and L'Oreal) and switching them for good, ethical brands. I think this deserves its own post, but for now I'll leave you this PETA brand checker so you can see if your favourite brands are nice or naughty. 
Are you back to work tomorrow? If so, enjoy your 4-day week! And I'll catch you next weekend for more favourite things x 
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Brockenhurst with Queenie: Countryside, donkeys and plenty of mud

Hello!

I accidentally pressed pause on this blog post – but, better late than never, right?


A few weeks ago, I visited Brockenhurst with Queenie. As we don't live that near each other, day trips have become kind of our thing.

I can't actually remember why we picked Brockenhurst, but there we were, one cloudy lunchtime, hugging each other hello and walking into the sleepy little village.

The most notable things about Brockenhurst, in my opinion, are the horses and donkeys that freely roam around the village. They're good-tempered and happy for you to stroke them, but I was a little bit cautious, just in case.

As Brockenhurst is in the New Forest, it's absolutely brimming with flowers, fields and old buildings. And, naturally, a few lovely tea rooms. That meant getting a fix of our signature hot beverages: hot chocolate.


I don't think the locals were huge fans of my T-shirt, but never mind.



Feeling refreshed, we shot a few photos outside a hotel and then wandered off into the fields.

What I possibly should have remembered is that it had been raining for the last couple of days, so the the ground was basically just mud. And, in hindsight, I shouldn't have been so confident in my ability to walk on the muddy ground.

I nearly lost a shoe and had to shoot knee up for the foreseeable future.

But you live and learn, right?



Queenie and I filmed a fun little vlog, featuring our top modelling tips and that fun moment I lost my pink satin shoes to the mud. Take a look:



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