Tuesday, 9 September 2014


I have taken this week off work for a much needed 'staycation', or as I like to call it - 'operation breathe and reboot'. The last few months have been somewhat full on in many aspects of my life (some in a good way, some in a less good way) and I was feeling stressed. Stressed to the point that all I wanted to do was sleep or watch TV - I even began to feel overwhelmed and anxious in social situations. As I became more run down with niggling sore throats and regular headaches I quickly realised that I desperately needed a break.

Now, a week in an exotic location with access to a luxury spa would have been ideal, but alas - a week at home would have to suffice. And while I may not be lounging on a beach soaking up some late summer sun, I am just a few days into my staycation and I already feel rejuvenated. Here's what I'm doing:

So far

- letting off some steam and taking silly photos at a garden wedding reception 
- eating nutritious and tasty foods like avocados, berries, olives and eggs
- lots of detoxing, strengthening yoga practices
- listening to music and reading  
- walking in the woods

Still to come 

- shopping for some transitional wardrobe pieces
- getting my eyebrows shaped
- face masks, body scrubs and DIY manicures (oh my)
- getting some boring appointments out of the way
- getting my car cleaned, inside and out

I suppose it all boils down to self-care; recognising when you're feeling run down and knowing when it's time to take a break. And also knowing what you need to do to really relax and rebuild yourself. I think over the last few years I've gotten much better at this - maybe yoga has helped me connect the dots between my body and mind, or maybe it's just something that comes with age. Either way, I'm glad I seem to be connected to myself.

 I'm feeling better already. 

Saturday, 5 July 2014

lost souls

With no map or direction, the two lost souls found themselves at opposite ends of a jazz bar. One was sipping tea from a cup, the other was lighting a poorly constructed cigarette. Both their thoughts wandered far away from the conversations they were having, where words tumbled lazily from their lips. 

Drawn together by forces unknown, their eyes locked, both equally full of sadness. Seeking solace together, they ran from their surroundings to a nearby motel. As the sky turned black, they folded into each other. Telling their stories through their bodies, he kissed the scars of her youth while she gently outlined a birthmark on his shoulder. Escaped from reality, the lost souls felt free. 

As the morning light intruded on their slumber, the heaviness of reality retuned. Paying the bill with cold plastic, the souls thanked each other with polite words and a modest hug. Each returned to their lives, gripping onto reality with all the strength they could muster until their next chance meeting.


Last night I watched Lost in Translation and remembered how much I love the film. The story of two lost souls seeking comfort in one another is told so beautifully. It stirred some creative juices that, to be honest, I haven't truly tapped into for a while. So I wrote this - my incredibly brief interpretation of the idea. Yes, it is pretty sad and perhaps not the uplifting prose one would want to read on a Saturday night - but hey, life isn't always sweetness and light. I like sad movies, sad songs and sad stories. I like a little darkness from time to time - it makes for good contrast.

My best writing has always happened when I'm a little sad - which is probably why I haven't written creatively for a while (damn you happiness!), but I have been through sad times in my life, and when a film or piece of music takes me back there - it is nice to turn those feelings into a story (even if they only end up on a neglected blog in the depths of cyber space). 

So here's to feeling sad every now and then - and embracing it. 

(p.s. - just to lighten the mood, how gorgeous is Scarlett Johansson's hair colour in that movie? obsessed)

Friday, 30 May 2014


Recently there have been quite a few moments that have made me smile - most fuelled by sunshine, a few fuelled by chocolate. Whenever this happens, I like to really take it in. Sometimes - if I have a phone/camera on me - I take a photo, other times I close my eyes and take a mental snap shot. I think this simple act is an important part of being happy; taking the time to appreciate such moments helps you get by when things ain't so rosy. 

The moments I photographed:

bright pink lips for a sunny Sunday

al-fresco breakfast, chamomile tea, music & reading

favourite jewellery & favourite magazine

chocolate because, well... chocolate

The moments I didn't photograph:

coffee & croissants with my love

red wine, dinner & flat hunting

conversations with sanka cat

yoga in the sunshine

On reflection, none of these moments were particularly special - no birthdays, no landmarks, nothing deep and meaningful. Just perfectly ordinary events that, when looked at in the right light, are anything but. 
What moments have made you smile lately? 

Monday, 5 May 2014

treat yo'self

treats: seven course dinner, kraken rum, cos dress, anthropology earrings 

So lately, when it comes to spending money, I have been somewhat overindulging. In the past my spending habits resembled those of a hungover student - I can't afford that, that's far too nice for me - oh but is there a voucher? Most of my shoes came from Primark and I considered Urban Outfitters as the 'dream shopping destination'. Now, thankfully, my taste has matured - meaning that my spending habits have had to mature too.

Replacing my lust for Topshop and Urban Outfitters is Cos, Mint Velvet and Anthropology. And while I do still enjoy the odd Nandos, a proper meal out now typically takes place at Cote or a gastro country pub.

Sadly I'm not quite in the position yet where I can splash the cash, and I do still find it hard to part with my money (and I should really be saving for a house, hmmm) - but lately I've been treating myself. Nice rum, pretty dresses and rather extravagant meals out have made me both happy and a little poorer than I should be. But you know what - sometimes you have to flip off your sensible side and treat yourself. 

And I promise, as soon as me and Joe book a luxury all-inclusive holiday as a pre-mortgage hurrah, I'll go back to being sensible ;)

Have you treated yourself lately? 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

spring clean

I know it's a cliche, but whenever spring rolls around all I want to do is clean and start afresh. The sunnier days make us reconsider all kinds of things - from our wardrobes, make-up and nail varnishes to exercise routines, diet and how we spend our free time. Suddenly we have more choices,

sandals or flip flops?
nude nails or neon nails?
pub garden or run in the park? 
(I think we all know the answer to that one)

and today, being warm, sunny and free of obligations, felt like the perfect day to kick spring off right - with some cleaning, new skincare and spring fashion mags in the sun. 

My skin has changed from oily and spotty teenage skin to blotchy, dry and yet somehow still spotty adult skin. So when buying skincare products I have to use a double pronged approach - keep skin hydrated and stop shine/spots. A bit tricky, but luckily there are lots of skincare products to help.

To cleanse I've recently started using Micellar water after a decade-long love affair with Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish. This particular variation of the French cult item feels like it cleanses really well, doesn't irritate and leaves my skin feeling hydrated. My only gripe? It takes quite a lot of work to remove my stubborn eye make-up.

To moisturise I wanted something to hydrate and control shine at the same time - and again, I turned to the French. I treated myself to a La Roche-Posay moisturiser that controls sebum and tightens pores. I've only used it once so far, so I can't judge yet - but so far, so shine-free.

Finally I wanted something to brighten up my complexion and Clarins Beauty Flash Balm does this wonderfully. I'm hoping by the time summer hits, these products will help my skin to be smooth, spot-free and happy. 

After slathering my skin in these lovely products I cleaned my room from top to toe - it's incredible how much a tidy, clean room can soothe the mind. Then I headed outside to sit among the flowers, read about spring silhouettes in Elle and watch Sanka chasing butterflies. It was lovely until my hayfever kicked in and I couldn't see my magazine through watery eyes and sneezing fits.

So now I'm inside, with tea and tissues - but I'm still excited for spring. 
Just need to stock up on benadryl.

Friday, 28 March 2014


This month has been full of all kinds of lovely newness - new experiences, new ink and even a new pet. One of my favourite quotes of all time is:

"The core of man's spirit comes from new experiences."

So this inbound of newness feels revitalising to me. The first 'new' thing I was treated to was a fabulous day out in London with my love. OK, so I have been to London before - but I've never been to the top of the Shard to eat the best damn lamb chops I have ever tasted. I've also never seen a hanging skull in a random doorway - so, the experience felt quite new to me ;)

Next bit of newness was my new ink! My beloved Thailand tatt got a bit of a facelift and I got my waxing gibbous moon symbol on the back of my neck (will get a pic soon). My arm is well on its way to being healed and the colours are looking fab - it is quite a statement, but I love the impact is has.

Meet Sanka - my parents new cat :) named after the character from 'Cool Runnings' Sanka is the happiest little dude ever. He's been with us for just over a week and as you can see from the pics - he is right at home. 

Ahhh the new dress - is there anything better? This beauty was an impulse buy from the Whistles sale - purchased purely because the colours make me happy. My last pic was taken last night at a gig in London and again, I have been to a gig before - but this was the first gig me and Joe have been to together and it was the first time he'd seen the band and gig venue. Was a brilliant night and reminded me how much I love a little live music.

 The month of March was topped off with some sporadic days of sunshine, a vintage car boot sale and several long weekends which were just lovely. Next month is set to be a good one too - there's a long weekend in Centre Parks, Joe's birthday, and chocolate day!! (ahem, I mean Easter).

I think it's safe to say spring is off to a wonderful start. 

Friday, 7 March 2014


Music is a huge part of my life. While I may not go to gigs as much as I would like, and my brief foray in the world of music journalism was unfruitful to say the least, I still find great happiness in the simple act of listening to music.

I've often said on here that I feel my most content when my head is happily wedged in between a set of headphones, and I have a variety of Instagram pictures to prove it. 

(after all, nothing's real unless it's captured on Instagram, right?)

The music I love so intensely doesn't make me want to leap from my seat and dance. It soothes me and, more often than not, it moves me. Every song I fall for has a specific moment I can pinpoint to the second - a key change, a rhythmic interval, whatever - that forces me to stop what I'm doing and just listen.

I close my eyes and lose myself for three minutes at a time. I think about life. I think about Joe. I wonder whether or not *this* would be the perfect song to dance to at my wedding.

The following songs are current favourites and, to paraphrase Zooey Deschanel in 'Almost Famous', 

"Listen with a candle burning, and you'll see your entire future."

Peggy Sue - Idle

Peggy Sue - February Snow

Peggy Sue - The Sea, The Sea

(Yes, I like Peggy Sue)

Bon Iver - Skinny Love

Ben Howard - Black Flies

The Civil Wars - Dance me to the end of Love

The Civil Wars - Devil's Backbone

Fleetwood Mac - Big Love & I'm so Afraid (both from the live 'The Dance' album)

James Vincent McMorrow - Wicked Game (cover)

Ludovico Einaudi - Experience

Sea of Bees - Wizbot

There are plenty more where that came from, but if I listed every song that made my heart smile, I would be here all day. Do let me know which songs move you, I love adding to my collection.

 Here's a peek into my musical world - the song I have on repeat right now:


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