13 Dec 2010

X Factor - Matt Cardle ain't no poodle!

I watch X Factor every year and to be honest, I've never really had much of an opinion on the contestants as they are all more or less X Factor lemmings with no opinion. They're just really grateful of the opportunity that has been slung their way which I guess is fair enough, but it's a bit boring.

Then all that changed this series with newly crowned winner, Matt Cardle. This lad seems to have balls because I've never seen him dodge a question yet. He seems to try and put a fair spin on it but he still gets his actual opinion across which is rare for the army of 'yes people' that the media breed these days.

It's because of people like him and especially such people as Shaun Ryder et al that make TV much more interesting these days. I'd be terrified if I was a presenter, but for the viewing public, it's always certainly going to be T.V. GOLD!!!

Christmas ain't Christmas without a brass band!

As much as I have mixed views about the Salvation Army, I do love hearing them play in my local town at Christmas. Nothing gets me in the mood for crimbo quicker than a brass band playing a few carols. Makes me well up a little too!

7 Dec 2010

Dear Santa

I desperately want one of these gorgeous Pashley bikes....

...any chance?

6 Dec 2010

Have yourself a very frugal Christmas

As I've mentioned before, I'm saving up or a house so I'm having a frugal Christmas this year. That doesn't mean I'm skimping on thought or quality. It just means things might cost a bit less! So here are some ideas I'll be adopting this year.

  • Bake biscuits and/sweets and give them as gifts.
  • Cut up clothes that you don't want anymore and use them to make something patchwork or cut them into heart or flower shapes of different sizes and make brooches!
  • Make a scrap book of happy memories of your family or friends to give as a really thoughtful gift.
  • Buy a bog standard notebook and write in the nicest and funniest memories you have with that person. They can continue to add their own memories in the future and enjoy the ones you have reminded them of!
  • Any gifts you do buy, should be bought in plenty of time so you don't spend more when you're rushing at the end!

Any other skills you can bring to the party will vastly improve your chances of doing more with your money and your raw materials!

3 Dec 2010

I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas

On Thursday night my family and I made a pilgramage through the arctic style blizzards to see White Christmas at Sunderland Empire. I had never seen White Christmas (the old school film from 1954) before so I didn't know what the story would be about or anything like that. I do however love all that old hollywood glamour and that was enough for me!



What I did know was who was starring - two fabulous leading fellas actually. One was Tom Chambers who you might know from Holby City or maybe Strictly Come Dancing. The other is Adam Cooper, star of Matthew Bourne's, 'Swan Lake' and he also starred in 'Billy Elliot'. The rest of the cast were unknown to me but obviously very talented indeed. Without ruining the story (and any additional surprises) for those of you who might be seeing the show next week, it was sensational! The costumes, singing, dancing and scenery were all superb. It translated really well onto stage (I know because I watched the film today to compare - geeeek). When we left, art imitated life and the snow was falling down on us all the way home! All in all, a great way to make me start to feel Christmassy! Roll on Christmas!!!

Reeed Reeed Wiiiiiine

I don't care much for any red wines I've ever tasted before but there's only one exception and I tell everyone I can about it. Best of all it's really affordable. To me, a lot of reds taste vinegary and actually end up making me feel sick but my ex's father used to get Mavrodaphne of Patras (I get it from Asda or Tesco) and one day I got some bollocks and gave it a try. It's like port but you can drink more of it. A really fruity, gorgeous yummyness. I don't claim to know anything about wine as you can tell, but I know what I like!



I recently visited a deli that's just opened up nearby and I've converted the owner. I was raving about it so much that she went out that evening and bought some! I might try and get some sort of commission per converts! Under a fiver a bottle...you cannot go wrong!

2 Dec 2010

I DID IT!!!

In my recent post about Julie and Julia I suppose I did a bit of a secret behind the scenes version instead of blogging about the journey and only had my goal achieved today. Maybe I'll be a retrospective version of Julie. What am I talking about I hear you cry? Well I'm about to explain.

Only 4 days into this year I won an amazing competition in association with Heat Radio (great radio station which plays current hits and really great 90's tunes.) Sadly my digital radio is broken and I can no longer listen to it but thats another story...So, this prize was a luxury trip to London - trains, transfers, a stay at The May Fair Hotel, a posh meal at Cocoon and lots of other lovely extras. I couldn't believe it!

Lets go back over for a minute and add an important sprinkle of history to this tale. Since I was little I've dabbled with competitions and been casually successful. So it was with this background and a bit of a buzz off the recent mega-win I set myself a challenge. Could I win at least one thing per month for the whole of 2010? Well today I managed it ladies and jellyspoons! The challenge clincher was a win on Mecca Bingo Online. The princely sum of £32.68 to be precise! I'll do a separate post listing these wins another day and point out my favourites. Until then I'll silently celebrate since it's already tomorrow and I don't want to wake everyone up.

Night xxx

30 Nov 2010

Stepford Wife FAIL

Here's what happens when I'm trusted with domestic tasks. I had brought the Dyson upstairs to do some tidying but I also needed to straighten my fringe as without straightening it it resembles a letter 'S'.

Bit of a strange thing to do, but I tend to hang my straighteners over the heated bar above the radiator and let them hang down because they are cheap ones and will scorch any surface I lay them on. Unfortunately I'm a doyle. Whilst I was pottering, the straighteners had rested on the hose part of our little Dyson and melted straight through it. I know what you're thinking...how didn't she smell it? Well at the moment, I don't have a sense of smell! Unlucky huh.

So I thought I'd bust the vacuum. Fortunately my mother had a great idea, and proceeded to wrap the hose in duct tape, mending it with practically no effort. What a legend. I need to learn to be a lot more careful in future and perhaps stop trying to multi-task.

29 Nov 2010

Julie and Julia...whats my mission?

Last week I watched Julie and Julia. I didn't know anything about it but had Sky+'d because I loved the cast. The partnership between Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci is pretty much unbeatable; Amy Adams is a brilliant and versatile actress (definitely plenty more to come from her!) and then there's Nora Ephron who in my opinion can do no wrong. She is responsible for such classics as You've Got Mail, Sleepless In Seattle, When Harry Met Sally and now she has Julie and Julia to add to the line up.

Here's a brief synopsis I took from IMDB:

Julia Child and Julie Powell - both of whom wrote memoirs - find their lives intertwined. Though separated by time and space, both women are at loose ends... until they discover that with the right combination of passion, fearlessness and butter, anything is possible.


I came away from this film feeling positive and very very inspired. It's hard not to actually as there's a bit of Julie in all of us. There are so many people feeling unsatisfied with their lives at the moment (esp with the economic situation) that it's nice to think that such a simple idea could be so recognised and rewarding. We're normal people and people care what we say (well only 11 people at the moment but I'm hoping to improve on that!) I would love to do something like Julie does in the film, where I set myself a deadline and a tricky task but I just don't know what to do. Any suggestions?

I got thinking about what inspired me to blog and I suppose it's the fact that I have a voice and I like to write in my own little way. It's written as I'd speak to a friend as you might have gathered, but it's still got that mask of privacy between us. I can be brutally honest if I like, and say things I probably couldn't say to my friends or family! I guess it's what you could call cathartic. Watch the film and you will see what I'm on about. Hopefully you'll be inspired too.

24 Nov 2010

Size four feet, size five legs.

It's official. I hate my legs. Well I've hated them for a very long time but I'm quite lazy and so I don't know how I expect to have toned legs without putting the effort in. That's why recently I've been thinking of investing in this thing called 'Leg Magic' where you slide about on some little tracks and hopefully, after a while, your thighs don't chafe anymore. So that's my plan....when I read some reviews, save some money that isn't intended for the house fund and decide on a place to purchase one from. To be honest, I'd really love someone to tell me if it works because it'll save me upwards of £40.

However, my real beef is with knee high boots. Since the dawn of time they have been a depressing purchasing experience. Now I have seen those Duo Boots but I'm skint and can't afford to spend that sort of money on what would be great fitting boots. One day eh? Anyway, I digress....I recently won a Clarks voucher and finally got round to spending it the other day. Actually I'm hoping these boots arrive tomorrow! I was 'Christmas Shopping' which basically amounted to window shopping for myself. I realised whilst pressing my face against every window on the retail park that I don't own any flat, black boots despite the zillions of pairs of shoes and boots I do own. So that's how I ended up in Clarks, voucher burning a hole in my purse, when I happened upon these beauties.

They're clumpy enough to make me feel bad ass in the right outfit, they're smart enough to go with a normal skirt or dress. They really are perfect. But...what if my calves were too big? I held my breath not daring to hope that they might fit, but for practically the first time in my life, the boots fit perfectly everywhere!!! Normally they only fit if I buy a shoe size bigger than what I am (hence the title of this blog). They are so so comfy and are just perfect. So now I have to wait for them to be delivered to my home into my welcoming open arms. Thanks Clarks -  for the voucher and for creating these fabulous boots. At last I can be warm and steady on my feet this winter without having to worry about my too-big-for-my-feet legs.

23 Nov 2010

When will I, will be faaamous? Today?

OK it's time to let the cat out of the bag. The reason I was in London recently was to participate in a cookery competition run by Richmond Sausages. It was a bit of a shock to the system to get a phone call on Monday to say I stood a chance of winning £10k and then getting sent down to London from 'Oop North' only a few days later. In hindsight it was probably the best way for me to cope - if I'd had more time I probably got a whole lot more nervous and stressed.

The truth is - I'm not a very experienced cook. I'm proficient at the things I like and at recipes that have been handed down but it's more the love of it and the love of learning new techniques that allows me to get by. However, this competition did not strike me as the type of situation to 'get by'. I mean, I know it's not Masterchef or anything, but it was enough to stop me being able to eat properly for a week with nerves and I'm telling you now, that's just not me. I love my food...perhaps a little too much sometimes!

So off I went that Thursday after work (god bless my boss for being understanding and letting me have Friday off) on the train to the Big Smoke. I felt as though I had a massive secret from the world as I was hurrying to the hotel where I settled in for the night and tried not to panic.

We were collected from the hotel the next morning and put through hair and make up before doing a few photos and making sure we had all our ingredients. Then it began. I won't lie, I was absolutely cacking myself. I was also worried that I wouldn't get Take That tickets which were released that morning! Stressful times indeed! The ladies judging were James Martin's mum and Lesley Waters' mum who were both lovely. James and Lesley even popped along which was a surprise as none of us were expecting them to be there!!! I cooked a 'Sausage and Herby Dumpling Pie' (read 'yummy stodge'); Pam cooked 'Bangers Bolognaise'; Paul cooked 'Mustard, Apple and Sausage Tart' and David cooked 'Sausage and Stilton Potato Cakes'.

After we had cooked our dishes and the food had been photographed we waited while the judgement was made. The other contestants were awesome people, all of us wanted to win but it was great that nobody felt aggressively competitive - the balance of people was lovely and I couldn't have wished to meet better people. So the moment was finally here. They lined us up and announced that I was the winner! I honestly couldn't believe it. Not least because it would be a brilliant boost for my fiance and I being able to afford our first home!

You can see the pictures for yourself in Reveal magazine right now!!! My recipe (which is my grandma's recipe) is officially the UK's favourite sausage recipe!!!


P.S. Excuse the quality of the picture. It was off my phone, straight from the mag!

19 Nov 2010

My new favourite past-time...

Today whilst at work, I gave my colleagues the gift of Urban Dictionary. Needless to say they loved it. I also shared with them a few of my favourites which range from the hilarious to the disturbing...

Don't believe me or just a little bit curious? Check out...
  • Pork Slap
  • Space Docking
  • Mung (Only for the seriously disturbed)
I told my colleagues that they now had one over on their kids as they could look up and dubious words that said children were using and understand the shocking nature of what they were probably saying. Secret weapon...yep...but also really good fun. If you're not looking for a specific word but you are looking for a hearty belly laugh then you could just press random until something appears that tickles your fancy!

I haven't had the time to have a really good look for ages so if you find some good ones, post the name underneath this post and I'll check it out. Enjoy!

16 Nov 2010

Nivea Visage Wipes

Last week I was sent a pack of these new wipes by Nivea.



They claim to:
  • Cleanse, tone and hydrate
  • Remove make-up and waterproof mascara
  • Be suitable for sensitive eyes
Plus - and I think this is quite unusual - its a one size fits all affair. One type of wipes is suitable for all skin types.

I must admit I was a bit sceptical about trying these wipes at first because they didn't seem as wet as the ones I normally use and didn't think there would be enough moisture to remove my make-up. I also have really sensitive skin and was concerned that they might be drying despite claims to be suitable for sensitive, delicate little flowers such as myself.

However, I needn't have worried about anything.... The wipes are some of the best I've used. I held them on my eyes for a but to loosen off the mascara and then gently buffed my skin with the wipe. These wipes have an uneven surface which I think its a great design. It seems to get right into your pores and get all the make up off without too much stress on your skin. Your skin has no oily residue like a lot of other moisturising wipes. Just a silky but matt feel!

My skin has been in really good condition since I started using them and they don't make my eyes feel watery afterwards like most make-up removing products I've ever used. I'll definitely get some more in the future and would highly recommend them to others!

10 Nov 2010

Protesting Palaver.

I am disgusted at what I just witnessed on the news. Hundreds of 'protesters' (read idiots) abusing and assaulting police; smashing windows; generally being mindless hooligans...


I myself have been a student and had the opportunity to go to university for which I am very thankful for. However, before I went, I also considered doing an Open University degree instead so I could work and get experience alongside. In the end I went to my local uni, University of Teesside so I didn't have to pay to go away and incur unnecessary accommodation costs. I do feel very sorry for people going to uni these days as it was expensive enough when I was there and the pain-in-the-arse bit is that most of the people deciding these things got grants and went for free.

On the other side of it. If people are genuinely wanting to go to uni they can...and this is where I think the Open University are going to cash in. They run great quality courses and it fits around your life so it is a feasible option.

So in conclusion, whilst I feel sorry for all the people genuinely seeking further education rather than just getting pissed for 3 years, I don't think this is the way to go about it! These imbeciles ruined it for all the genuine protesters...and lets face it...people like those morons smashing windows today, probably aren't clever enough to be at uni anyway.

8 Nov 2010

Was Cheryl framed?

I'm feeling a bit cross today. I think X Factor is a bit of a farce if I'm honest. If it was a serious singing competition, acts like Jedward and Wagner wouldn't be in it. But as always, the perverse British public keep acts like that in at the expense of more talented people's dreams.

Last night on X Factor, Cheryl had to pick between her two acts. Now I agree, that's her role as judge she SHOULD have to pick. However, the way the show normally goes is that the judge who has both acts in the bottom two normally picks last. She was put on the spot last night and point blank refused to choose, saying she'd rather take it to 'Deadlock' (where its decided by the viewers vote).

I feel sorry for her. The normal way that segment of the show is run was not like that last night and it's painted her in a bad light. People who believe everything they see on the TV/read in the media will now be crowing about how she should have chosen but she wasn't given the proper opportunity to perform her role as a judge in a fair and proper way. Anyone who knows the normal format will have recognised that.

Give her a break, the X Factor let her down last night.

31 Oct 2010

My very own Tiffany moment

As I previously mentioned, I had to make an impromptu trip to our fair capital Thursday into Friday for a very exciting couple of days. It was a very rewarding trip and to treat myself as a memento of a mind blowingly amazing 48 hours (which includes the fact I secured some Take That tickets) I gave myself a £100 limit to treat myself to something from Selfridges. After much searching around before getting the train I happened upon Tiffany & Co - a brand I've admired but never owned anything from.

I finally chose this silver ring for the brilliant price of £85. It's so cute and when I wear it I'll be reminded of one of the best days of my life so far. So I finally had my Audrey Hepburn 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' moment at the ripe old age of 27 (minus the croissant of course)

26 Oct 2010

What's a girl to do?

I'm off to the Big Smoke on Thursday after work for a bit of a random trip. It's been a total spur of the moment thing (by which I mean booked Monday to go Thursday) which is exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time. I've been there by myself a few times but it's been to meet someone at the other end. This time it's just lil ol' me until Friday night!

So what I need is for people to offer me some suggestions to occupy myself in a fun, safe and relatively inexpensive fashion. I'm staying in a lovely hotel near the Westfield Shopping Centre (which is exciting and dangerous for my bank balance in equal measures.) So ladies and jellyspoons...what's a girl to do?

25 Oct 2010

Chuck Bass - Gossip Girl King

He is my Gossip Girl crush and an unexpected one at that...I can't explain it but I reckon it's his voice and the arrogance of the character he plays. If you haven't seen Gossip Girl, do yourself a favour and start watching it. You can thank me later...

GIVEAWAY

Better late than never! Sorry about the giveaway being a couple of days later than planned but sickness seems to rear its ugly head at just the wrong time. I'm sure you all understand :)

OK, so the giveaway...Thanks to http://www.prettyfulthings.com/ (an online boutique previously mentioned in my blogs) we have one of these lovely satchels to give to one of my lovely followers! Lovely for my ladies or if you're a bloke you could give it as a gift (after all Christmas is just around the corner)!

So now you know what's up for grabs, here's what you have to do to get it:

1. Become a follower of this blog.

2. Leave a comment under this post telling me what you favourite item is on http://www.prettyfulthings.com/  accompanied by your twitter name (or email address if you don't have a Twitter account.)

That's all I ask and the competition finishes at midnight on the 31st October. The winner will be revealed on here and on Twitter on the 1st November! If you would like to follow me @MissTRChatter and @Prettyfulthings on Twitter and maybe even offer a cheeky RT, that just shows how nice you are :)

Good luck everyone and thanks for taking part xxx

22 Oct 2010

I'm a Bad Gal!

For the past 3 years I've been religiously using Benefit's 'Bad gal lash' Mascara. I've had the Black, Blue and Plum variations (still need to try the Brown) and have been pretty impressed with them all. In fact I love everything  I've ever tried by Benefit.

I think it all starts with the packaging. It's all really well designed - pretty, kitsch, just totally gorgeous. Sometimes products can be style over substance but Benefit are just as good as they first appear.

I'm currently using the Plum one which suits my green/brown eyes well and picks out the green colour more than other colour mascaras. The only fault I have found with it is that sometimes it smudges onto just below my eye which I didn't find happened with the other colours. My favourite so far has been the Bad Gal Blue Mascara which brightens your eyes up so you can look really fresh even if you're not feeling like it.



It's not one of those tacky blue colours that you see chavs wearing either as it's only really obviously blue in the sun. Even then it's a classy, subtle blue. I really would recommend it to anyone no matter what colouring. It's a great all rounder and comes in at only £15.50 in most shops/websites.

I'm looking forward to trying more Benefit products very soon!

21 Oct 2010

Illamasqua Stalker

Hi, I'm Tilly and I'm an Illamasqua stalker.

I would like to say an addict, and in ways I think that's probably true but it's purely been an affair of the mind which can be just as dangerous and exciting as a physical love affair. Recently two friends of mine showed me some recent additions to their make up bags and every piece was Illamasqua. The packaging is exquisite, really alluring and sort of like the make up packaging version of a low cut top, enough to keep 'em wanting more! And that's before you get to the product itself! I've admired it from afar in Fenwicks but have not yet taken the plunge for reasons I will explain.

Now, anyone who knows me, knows that unless times are very hard and money is tight (yes and yes) I cannot resist trying new makeup products. Unfortunately for me, I'm saving very hard indeed so right now there's no spare cash for things I don't 'need'. Now I think this is matter of opinion. I do need Illamasqua. Not even just want, it's become almost a basic human right so why have I been left out of the club? Moolah is the obstacle between myself and the most stunning make up I've ever seen. ouch. Painful but true. So the plan is to do as much research as I can so that when I can afford to buy at least one piece (please God, let me afford more) then I have an informed choice planned.I have dark hair and really quite pale skin as some of you might have noticed from a pic in an old blog post, and I think a great statement blusher or eye colour would be the order of the day or maybe the year.



What would you recommend ladies and gents?

19 Oct 2010

How gorgeous are these shoes??? Uber Gorgeous!

I. THINK. I'M. IN. LOVE.

How classically beautiful are these shoes? I think I sorta need them...but then I sorta need the £70 that they cost too...FAIL. Shoe fail to be precise.

These babies are the Asha View Wine Leather Heels from Clarks. I just love the way they'd embrace your feet and flatter any leg shape by elongating your leg. *sigh* They're a great on-trend heel height and they looks fashionable and practical all at once. And of course they're leather so they won't make your feet all sweaty and minging. God, there's just not a negative...

I recommend to you to get some now! I'll just sit and be quietly jealous and admire from afar. Unless someone is feeling super duper generous that is...

***
OH MY GOODNESS. Later tonight I found out I won  £50 Clarks voucher. The shoe Gods must be smiling on me :)

16 Oct 2010

THE MOST AMAZING NAIL BUFFER OF ALL TIME!

Yesterday I went to the Metro Centre, Gateshead. I was on a Christmas shopping mission so no spare funds for personal treats. Like in many shopping centres, there were plenty of barrow style stalls selling mineral make up, phone accessories etc. A chap on one of these barrows approached me and started trying to sell me a nail buffer. I love nail things but having no spare cash I decided to listen out of manners.

'Prepare to be amazed' he told me as he explained about the different sides and the qualities they possessed...cynically I thought it would be garbage but I am holding my hands up. I was 100% mistaken. The first side got rid of ridges, the second side did something else and the third side was made of silk which is the side that did the business! My nail was so shiny its looked as though it could have had clear nail varnish on! I can't even remember what name it was retailing under so I may have to do a bit of detective work!

I'm now desperate to have one. Please, someone?

11 Oct 2010

Winter is most definately here...

I am so cold. I'm actually sat under my quilt. I feel like those elderly people you see on the news who can't afford to switch on another bar on the fire because they've been skanked out of a decent pension. To the elderly...I FEEL YOUR PAIN! I can't afford to be warm either.

5 Oct 2010

Favourite songs

I was laid in bed last night and my favourite song took my by surprise. Iris by Goo Goo Dolls has been my favourite song since I was a teenager - probably for about 13 years! It's meant so much to me and reminds me of lots of good and bad times.

The first time I ever heard it was on holiday with a friend when I was 14. We were in Salou and had a German music channel on in our room whilst we were getting ready. Iris came on and had me from the first verse. When we returned to England I went on a frantic hunt but couldn't find how to get hold of the single or album anywhere. We didn't have the internet so Woolworths and HMV were probably the limits of my search. I ended up getting the City Of Angels soundtrack just to own the song and used to play it on repeat all the time. I reckon my family wanted to throttle me! Not long before I left school, the single was released which I HAD to own and as soon as I could track down the album - Dizzy Up The Girl - I bought that too. A bit hysterical I know but totally worth it. It's an insanely good album.



When I was at college there was a boy I liked who was a great musician. Although I knew nothing much was going to happen between us I was at that age where everything that happens is the best or worst thing ever. There was a music event at college and the boy had learnt Iris and did an acoustic version. Not only that but he dedicated it to me! To this day, this is one of the most romantic things that has ever happened to me.

Then a few years ago, my brother surprised me and bought me tickets to see them in Manchester. One of my ambitions fulfilled for sure. It was freakin' awesome! I've just heard they're touring again so if I can spare the time and money I'm going to go!

Everyone has songs that mean bittersweet things to them. What's yours and why?

27 Sep 2010

Handy hints for life!

'Practical Self Sufficiency' (PSS for short) by Dick and James Strawbridge is one of the best books I've ever had the pleasure of owning. "Why?" I hear you ask! Well, because it is perfect in it's simplicity and is a very inspirational read. In a nutshell, PSS explains loads of the skills you wanted someone to show you in order to make your life more sustainable and rewarding.

For many of the projects explained in this book, the things required to get the wheels in motion are things you would have 'kicking around' your house anyway. I was especially pleased by this as I normally feel short changed by books that require you to go and buy something obscure which you inevitably will never use again.For instance, something that can only be described as their natural version of Shake and Vac sounds simple but effective and only really required bicarbonate of soda and a couple of scenty bits.

There are plenty of projects I want to have a go at including some ideas that I think would make thoughtful home-made Christmas gifts - particularly the cheese and the chutneys. MMMMMmmmmmm. It's also ideal for times like these - making brillaint and inexpensive gifts in a recession without looking like you have skimped on anything!

22 Sep 2010

LONDON FASHION WEEK

LONDON. FASHION. WEEK. 3 words that fill me with excitement and dread in equal measures. I'm always excited to see the latest fantasies of some of the worlds hottest designers. How they can come up with amazingly beautiful ideas year on year astounds me. But I guess it's their job.

My favourite collection so far was that by Erdem. It's right up my street! Here's one of my favourite pieces. It's the dictionary definition of beautiful.


However, I hate to say it but now time to explain the negative bit and you probably already know what I'm going to say...I HATE THE SIZE DEBATE. Twice a year we have designers parading 'plus size' models down the catwalk and everyone saying what a fresh idea it is. It's not. We see it year on year. It's boring. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to see emaciated hags crawling down the catwalk either but we're talking extremes and I don't agree with anyone being too fat or too skinny. The only difference is, people feel they have a licence to slag off slim people whereas people would rarely tell people they are looking too fat.

Elle Macpherson got it spot on if you ask me. When interviewed for Daybreak, regarding the size issue she said she was bored of talking about it and that people of any body shape can be beautiful. Of course I'm paraphrasing there and the way she said it was a lot more eloquent but you get the gist.

To be frank, I like seeing willowy, healthy looking body shapes drifting down the catwalk. I know it's not realistic for the vast majority of us but the fact of the matter is that clothes drape better on people who are naturally that build. But, I do not condone people starving themselves to achieve that figure and that's what needs to be stamped out in the industry.

21 Sep 2010

Magic Steps and the beginning of my shoe journey!

At the tender age of 4 I was lucky enough to possess the most beautiful and magical shoes known to man...in the '80's for kids anyways. The shoes I'm talking about are Clarks Magic Steps shoes and mine were burgandy patent leather. From memory, the sole of them had a bubble bit with a key inside and you got a key brooch, but I can't remember 100% what they looked like and I'm gutted not to be able to find any pictures on the internet *pout*. However, Youtube has provided me with a video of the good old 1980's advert.



They were simply beautiful. My favourite bit was the little diamante bit on the front as they made me feel more princessy.

Since then, I've never looked back. From Magic steps I progressed to red T-bar shoes, patent and suede ones with checky ribbon laces, LA Gear, Kickers, Vans, Converse, Lulu Guiness, and many more. I did get a bit of flack for my shoe courage over the years but what's wrong with being a bit fashion forward at a young age? Pretty much all my shoes are high street ones and the more special ones I've got like the Lulu's and a pair of Joseph ankle boots I got at a sale. In another blog post I'll go into a few of the designer shoes I aspire to but for now I'll leave you with the 1980's. Happy reminiscing xxx

20 Sep 2010

Capital Capers!

Well I finally got round to telling you about my time in our fair capital. Sorry for the delay! Our weekend was one that would be chronicled in girly weekend folklore. Now the thing you need to know about my friend (let's call her Beth) is that there's always a bit of randomness when she is about (including the time when a chap approached her and asked her "on a scale of one to ten, how random are you?") Because of this, I was very excited for said weekend break and I was not disappointed. Here's the breakdown...

Day 1

Arrived in London and it was TANKING down. Like seriously torrential and the ironic thing was that we had left the North-East with lovely sunshine and ended up with rain! Let's face it, it's normally the other way round! We headed straight to Westfield as she had never been and celeb spotted straight away. Unfortunately the words "there's that guy out of Pirates of the Caribbean..." were not followed by Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom. Nope, it was Mackenzie Crook. I mean he's a really good actor and very successful but I honestly thought it was going to be one of the two I named first due to the excited way she said it. With him was Ralf Little and one other, though by then I figured it was rude and a little bit sad to stare. They must have had people gorping at them all the time they were in there.

So we grabbed a bite to eat in the Gourmet Burger Kitchen (my GBK virginity gone forever); hit the shops for a bit and then decided to brave the rain (not for the last time that weekend) and head off to check into out hotel at Covent Garden. Before I knew it, my shoes were filling with rain water - yes, now was the time they had chosen to start leaking and I still don't know where the water was coming in. Still, you can only get wet once.

At the hotel, we got ready and carried on with our itinerary - namely a brisk walk through even more rain to the Novello Theatre to see Mr Adam Garcia in Tap Dogs! Relatively untouched by the rain thanks to Beth's unbrolly we took our seats and got excited, partly about being dry but mostly about seeing all the hot guys tap dancing. However, we were in for a bit of a surprise. Seconds after the 1 minute countdown was announced, the lady on the tannoy decided to mutter under her breath that Adam Garcia would not be featuring in that nights performance, and would be replaced by somebody else!!!



The show was superb, with or without Adam. It still would have been nice to know more than 30 seconds before 'curtain up' that the man many had come especially to see  would not be dancing. I even sent an email to the manager at the Novello saying I thought it was brilliant but wanted an explanation re: Mr Garcia. I'm still waiting...

After that, we dashed to our sesh at the Ice Bar. You can read more about that here.

Not wanting the night to end there, we ended up at Mahiki, managed to score some free drinks and danced the night away. It was one of the best nights out I've ever had and the cocktails were yummy! The music was amazing, so thanks Mr DJ. You're a legend!

Day 2

I'm not going to lie, day 2 was a bit of a write off for Beth. I can safely say it was the result of too much generosity and good living the night before. But she soldiered on and managed a vege fried breakfast, a trip to the French Connection outlet, and after walking around for ages, we settled on collapsing in the Hard Rock Cafe for a couple of hours like little homeless girls, killing time until our train that evening. The last stop was Selfridges for the second popping of my cherry that weekend...MY FIRST KRISPY KREME!!! Mmmmmm melt in your mouth goodness.

We miss you London, and hope to return soon for take two!

17 Sep 2010

I'm in heaveeeen...

The boy done good. FACT. When it was my birthday last month, my fiance bought me a pamper voucher for a lovely beauty salon called Amethyst which you can find in Great Ayton, North Yorkshire.

I decided to go for a Karen Herzog chocolate facial and back massage and it was one of the most idyllic experiences of my life. 90 minutes of full on fuss (plus a heated bed and a quilt!) My beauty lady was awesome and explained every part of the treatments she was performing. She spoke when I was speaking to her but didn't jabber on when I was just enjoying the opportunity to relax and she made me feel very comfortable which I believe is important if you're going to be taking your kit off in front of a stranger. Let's be honest though, you're never going to be the best or the worst looking person they've ever seen so you may as well just enjoy yourself :)



I can thoroughly recommend the salon and the treatment. The salon is in a gorgeous place, and I will definitely hurry back next time I want a bit of a pamper. I want to try the rest of the gorgeous facials and massages they have to offer!

16 Sep 2010

New job - week 2

At the end of week two, the job has turned out to be really good. I'm enjoying it loads (apart from answering the phone which I'm next to useless at). Fortunately, I've mainly been doing computer based tasks, so I need you lot to keep your fingers crossed and make lots of wishes that phone contact will remain minimal!

Anyway, today is my last day for the week and then I'm off until Tuesday woo hooooooooooo. I have a massage booked in for tomorrow lunch time so I'll let you know all about that!

Ciao x

15 Sep 2010

Kerastase Chronologiste - Truly a hair miracle!



As someone who has fairly dry hair, I was eager to try a product which promised to deliver what can only be described as a ‘hair miracle’. I must say, despite the £95 price tag, I was cynical, as I have tried many products over the years which have made similar claims but never quite lived up to them.


Kerastase Chronologiste is intended to be a treatment for not only your hair, but for your scalp too. It is designed to strengthen, hydrate and transform the hair and I’m pleased to say that is exactly what it does.

From the very start, Chronologiste lives up to it’s expensive price tag. The design of the packaging and product exudes luxury. The process of combining a creamy conditioner with minature pearls resembling silver coloured caviar, made the whole procedure feel more luxurious and the fresh fragrance even smells expensive!

I must say I was concerned that the amount of product I was instructed to mix would leave my hair greasy and lank, but the recommended amount was perfect for someone with long hair. However, I feel there would have been a bit of waste for users with shorter hair. After rinsing the product out after the required ten minutes, and blow drying as normal, my hair was soft, silky and touchable. There was no residue which I normally find other conditioners leave behind and even the ends of my hair which are usually dry and frizzy were smooth and glossy!

I would recommend this product to everyone. It’s easy to use, smells gorgeous and as a bonus there’s a generous amount of product which would last at least three uses which makes it just over £30 a use. I think it’s a bargain for the results and a lovely way to spoil yourself every now and again!

14 Sep 2010

Power mad.

Why, oh why do Tesco think it's OK to tell people which till to use?

Seriously, in the past week, I've heard from quite a few people that they can't be bothered shopping there anymore because of the hassle they get. For example, my Mam and Grandma were both shopping there this week and told me that they were queuing for a normal till when a Tesco person came over and asked my mam to use the self-service tills. This is not the first time this has happened. Now, the thing you should know about my mam is that she likes to receive service in shops (especially when shopping at the most expensive supermarket around and therefore paying for the pleasure) so she found this totally ludicrous. Especially as they make you scan your own clubcard and take your own receipt. Her other major hatred of this concept is that it renders the till staff useless and we don't really want to be making more people redundant in the current climate, do we?

Needless to say, she told the woman she would be doing no such thing and I think that more people should do the same! There are loads of ways we can complain whther that be through their little receipt questionnaire or to the people in store. It's just important that we do actually say something rather than just mutter under our breath or whinge to friends and family as that's no way to get things resolved. Join my mam and let Tesco know that enough is enough, their greed needs to stop here. The customers should not be doing peoples jobs for them!

3 Sep 2010

New job!

I have a new job. Start on Monday actually. The long and the short of it is I'm self employed. In the current climate, that's not a very lucrative position to be in for most people so I've been forced to take on other work. That's not a bad thing really, as I'll have more money (which can only be a good thing when saving for a house and a wedding) and I'll also have COLLEAGUES.

The only negative side to my line of work is how lonely it is. Therefore after 2 and a half years, it will be nice to have people to joke about with during working hours and even a Christmas do!

Wish me luck! I'll let you know how it goes x

Warm Martinis - My new addiction!

Last week my friend and I went to London (there's a post on the way about our antics) and part of our 48 hours of girly genius. In a nutshell, I made the greatest discovery of all time...WARM MARTINIS!!! This was at The Ice Bar in London. Well the below zero bit anyways. It's all run by Absolut vodka (yummy) and the whole experience was ace.

I had Apple and Blackberry Pie flavour and it was hands down the nicest thing I've ever had to drink! Fabulous. Every mouth should have one...at least one anyways! I'm currently working on a bar manager friend to try something similar :)





2 Sep 2010

Fancy a Dinner Date?

I have a new guilty pleasure...Dinner Date (ITV 1, 12:30pm).  The beauty of working from home means I can indulge in such fabulous and trashy programmes whilst enjoying my lunch  - HURRAY!

Never seen it before? Basically it's Come Dine With Me meets Blind Date. The guy or gal  is presented with 5 menus at the start of the show and has to pick based only on the food choices in front of him. He/She picks 3 blind dates and goes to each person's house to enjoy a dinner date! There's awkward flirting, disparaging asides and plenty of culinary disasters. It's just total car crash television and I LOVE it! My favourite bit is when you see the person at the beginning and to decide whether I like them or not. Based on whether I give them thumbs up or thumbs down, depends on how much I'm desperate for them to get a nice or horrible date. Mwahahahaha.

Definitely one to watch if you haven't seen it already and love a bit of trash - don't we all?

24 Aug 2010

INCEPTION

The other day my fiance and I went to see Inception. I didn't know what it was about or anything but I fancied a trip to the cinema! Before I went, a friend who had already seen the film gave me two pieces of advice:

1. Don't need the toilet or you will miss something important, everything  in that film is important.
2. CONCENTRATE!

So I went along, wondering all the time if I was in a sensible enough mood to deal with the brain power this film would require of me. Here's a summary by Warner Bros:

"Dom Cobb is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible-inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming."
 
Without ruining it, I will tell you that Inception is a fabulous film with a fabulous cast. I would describe it as The Matrix meets What Dreams May Come. A very clever concept indeed, and you need to wonder how such a weird and wonderful idea would begin in director, Christopher Nolan's mind. Leonardo DiCaprio is, as always, incredible. I'm just pleased that the wider public are seeing him for the talent he is, rather than just being a pretty face. Inception also stars Cillian Murphy, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page and Britain's very own Tom Hardy to name just a few of the well known cast members.

Take a few hours to yourself to see it before it leaves the cinema, it's definitely one to make time for!

23 Aug 2010

New Voices in Food!

The first thing that struck me about Alice's Cook Book was the gorgeous cover work on the book. This alone was enough to make me want to see what this book had to offer and having read about Alice, it's very representative of her personality and great loves - cooking and camping! The book has images that will make you salivate and rushing to get cooking them up.





I was excited by the culinary adventure this book was offering for a multitude of different reasons. One because I noticed it was part of the 'New Voices In Food' series and to be quite honest, I've been waiting for something a little different. I mean, don't get me wrong, I LOVE cookery books, but nothing will spark my interest more than new talent and Alice Hart did not disappoint.

The book is set out into sections so that when you're looking for something for breakfast or picnic food ideas, you know exactly where to look. The layout is easy to read, the recipes are easy to understand and the tone of the book is warm and friendly...exactly how I'd expect Alice to be!

I recently attempted the brownie recipe (page 182) and they went down a storm. They can be made in the time people might take to go and choose a Sara Lee out of the freezer in the supermarket and taste one hundred percent more tasty! Alice even suggests the use of other chocolate types if you're not a dark chocolate kind of group which for people who aren't very confident in trying to change an element of a recipe is a godsend. As someone who went through Home Economics in the '90's when restaurant design was deemed more important than survival skills, this book was great and not complicated to use at all. Good honest, easy-to-follow recipes for people like me in their 20's/30's who weren't given the option to learn a life skill at school. Having said that, her recipes would be great for anyone of any age as they are fuss free and delicious!

This book is definitely one everyone should have in their kitchen cupboard for impressive but easy ideas!

20 Aug 2010

The Waiting Room

In any other circumstances, the words 'The Waiting Room' would make me shudder and think of bad and uncomfortable things. But in the sense of this fabulous restaurant, quite the opposite is true. In fact, it's one of my most favourite places to be in the world, and definitely my most favourite eating place!

I've been eating at The Waiting Room since I was 15 (so roughly 11 years) and we went for my vegetarian friend's 16th so she would have more than one option to choose from on a menu. From that night in June 1999, I was HOOKED. The dishes are amazing, the portions are generous and the service is friendly and prompt. If you're a meat eater like me, don't let the fact that it's a vegetarian restaurant put you off. You won't even notice.



The front part as you can see, is welcoming and homely and the decor is very eclectic. There is also a back area which is a conservatory which you can dine in and where events are set. Sundays usually are the setting for 'Waiting For Sunday' which features lots of different arts and music acts.

I could wax lyrical for hours about the merits of this place but I won't as the website can tell you much more. There are recipes and pictures and lots of lovely things there to further your interest. But take my word for it, you will not regret it if you do take the time to visit.

P.S. The Ice Cream and Butterscotch is to die for!

19 Aug 2010

A-Levels - a true story.

I hope that for those of you receiving A-Level results today, it has been a positive day for you. If it hasn't, I promise it's not the end of the world. How do I know that? My results were RUBBISH.

Firstly, here's a bit of background. I was a good student at school and came out of my comprehensive school with a decent set of grades. However this was not the case the next couple of years as boys and parties became the dominating feature in my life and I got a bit carried away. Needless to say, I came out with a U, N, E and E. As you might have noticed, it spells UNEE (like Uni) but I thought I wasn't going to get a place there thanks to my mini disaster.

Moral: Although in a perfect world we would all get top marks, it's not a massive deal if we don't. I was offered a place at my local uni, Teesside University (which is a great uni AND Times Higher Education - University of the Year) doing a different course to the once I'd applied for but a place there nonetheless.

My route ended up being: HND Social Sciences and BSc Criminology. I squished them both into 4 years and ended up with a 2:1! So I feel I'm living proof that A-Levels are not the be-all-and-end-all.

17 Aug 2010

Ojon Tunu Elastik Flexible Finishing Hairspray

I'm a bit of a lover of QVC and not long ago, I purchased some items from the brand Ojon. Here's a little bit of history...

 "10 years ago Denis Simioni, a Canadian advertising executive, set off for the Honduran rainforest to find the Tawira tribe known as "the people of beautiful hair"™ and their secret ingredient, Ojon® oil, derived from the nut of the Ojon® tree."

So already it sounds amazing right? I was keen to see if it lived up to the great write up provided on the website and what I'd heard from the QVC presenter.

I'm pleased to say I was chuffed to bits with the few items I've tried which came as a bundle. My favourite item was the hairspray (which I've struggled to find on their own site but is readily available to buy from QVC at this time).



This product smells chocolately, but not overpoweringly so, which I was pleased about because you want everybody to be bowled over by your hair style, not the smell of the product emanating from it! And there was very little residue! I've always been an Elnett girl as I thought that was the best on the market but I think I've just been converted! I had my hair up in a beehive style for an occasion the other day and used this product throughout. From reinforcing the backcombing to misting over the finished 'do' it was brilliant and even when I had to brush it out a million times after making mistakes, it didn't make my hair lank or overloaded with stickyness. See my finished style below!





Buy the duo here for just £18.00 (exc P&P). It won't be long before I'm back for more!

12 Aug 2010

Prettyful Things and that ain't no lie!

If there's one thing certain to make me mad it is someone calling something 'vintage' and then me finding it's a Topshop dress from about 5 minutes ago or something like that. Last year I attended a 'Vintage Fair' not far from where I live and I was appalled to find that about 70 percent of the stalls there were charity shop fodder. The other 30 percent were vintage inspired brand new clothes (which were admittedly very lovely) and only one stall was the genuine article. Grrrrr.

Now, as someone who loves genuine vintage but can't afford the price tag most of the time, I have been pleased to find a great range of vintage inspired clothing and accessories on the high-street. The only problem is that everyone has them. At the aforementioned vintage fair, I came across two companies that stuck in my head. One was Prettyful Things which retails vintage inspired fashion, accessories and other lovely bits and bobs and the other was Suzanne Porter who was a talented young designer who makes vintage style clothing.

Here are some examples of their wares...

Lizzie dress at Prettyful Things.


Suzanne Porter Boutique.

Prettyful Things retails fashion and accessories from a mixture of unusual brands and independent designers so you know you won't just blend in with everyone else. From more established brands like Emily and Fin and This Charming Girl, to up-and-coming designers like Samantha Jane Wray and Wonderland Boutique. Check it out now!

Suzanne Porter makes bespoke items from your measurements for perfect fitting fashion. Her prices are super reasonable for a bespoke service that you could pay hundreds for if she was based in London.

I spoke with both of these budding entrepreneurs and you can see they are so passionate about their businesses.

So Ladies and Gents, I urge you to support the quality business people out there (and to be wary and not to get mugged by people selling the clothes of yesterday rather than yesteryear). As I've just demonstrated, you can have great quality, brand new clothes, that are a break from the norm (and the high street!)

11 Aug 2010

Sexy back not sexy ban.

This morning I have heard people discussing how pop stars and their videos are too sexy and that it's offensive to children.

Well excuse me, but as an adult, I don't want my television censored just because people are poor parents. I mean, it's not as though Lady Gaga is turning up, knocking at the door and gyrating in their child's face. Nope siree. They are letting their kids watch this stuff. How about you don't let you children watch these videos and take a bit of responsibilty for once instead of ruining things for the rest of us.


RANT OVER.

To Ugg or not to Ugg...?

Uggs have quite honestly always been something I struggle with. Well the classic ones anyways.They look so practical and comfortable and are admittedly very versatile, but I’ve always been someone who prefers something more unusual on my feet and I can’t help but feel like I’m surrounded by Ugg clones a lot of the time. That’s why thus far, I’ve held back on the craze...oh...and besides that I’m skint!

Yet, everybody I know has them and loves them, and I’ve gotta admit they do look really good whether it be with a denim mini or jeans. I even bought some cheapy similar ones a few winters ago when I was at uni just to pull on when I rolled out of bed every morning but they were nothing like the quality of the real ugg, plus when I put them on I felt like I was wearing imitation Uggs which is EXACTLY what I was doing. Shameful.

However, I believe I’ve found a compromise...namely the Ugg Smithfields. They look more like regular boots but with the Ugg quality and comfort factor. Just need my birthday money at the end of the week and I’ll be heading straight to the checkout! I'm smitten with these Smithfields, and for those unsure of losing their 'Ugg virginity' just yet, I'm sure you'll be persuaded after you have seen these!

20 Jul 2010

Toning Crisis + Reebok Easytone = SORTED!

I've certainly done my research about these things as I'm someone who is a) Lazy and doesn't bother with exercise and b) doesn't want to get mugged off by products that are style over substance. However I'm prepared to say I'm a changed woman thanks to the kindness of a friend.

A friend who had recently purchased these wonderful creations lent me them whilst she was on holiday so I could prepare for my own beachtastic experience. As I've already said, I HATE exercise. It bores me and apart from the odd walk round the block I cannot be interested by or pestered with sport. Like most people I know, my greatest wish is to be a toned, bronzed goddess by the 1st June every year but it never seems to happen. On first sight of these trainers I was unsure, mainly because aesthetically I'm usually more of a Converse girl for trainers. However, the Reebok Easytones are a lot prettier then the other versions by other brands which look more like corrective shoes.


The science:

There are two 'pods' that are on the ball and sole of the shoe intended to create an unstable surface so your legs have to compensate to balance creating your muscles to adapt and therefore tone up. Reebok have offered up these figures (below) as the statistics for the average increased muscle activation:-

28% Gluteus Maximus
11% Hamstring
11% calves
 

Tilly Terminology:

Reebok Easytone maximises the effort you're putting in like when you have a walk on the beach, so even a casual walk will benefit you more than it would in your normal footwear AND they are super-duper comfy.

So, it was with great regret I had to return them to said friend when she got back :( and now I'm saving for my own! They're quite expensive but at the same time when you put it down to a cost-per-wear ratio it's only going to turn out to be pennies and it's all for a good cause!

7 Jul 2010

Summer Radiance

I recently went to Middlesbrough's very own Fashion Week. It was the very first one to take place here and it was great to get involved with the opening night celebrations. A customer of mine had tickets for the event at Psyche which is a big designer shop in good ol' Boro and there was a fashion show, cupcakes, manicures, threading...allsorts really. There were also stands from some High Street stores and one of those was Boots. Normally it takes me quite a lot to be seduced by offers if I had no intention of buying that item in the first place but there was a lovely cleanser which was sold on the idea that it was Boots' answer to Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish...

Now for those of you who have tried Cleanse and Polish, I'm sure you would agree that it's the best in the business. For those of you who haven't, I'm sure you have heard of it and therefore would know that it is meant to be (and is) AMAZING. Anyways...back to the story...oh yes, so I was talking to my friend whilst she was choosing some items off the Boots stand and I was shown the Boots No 7 Radiance Booster. I was cynical, but since there was £5 off with a voucher I already had I thought it would be rude not to give it a try. Like Cleanse and Polish it comes with a cloth so that you can perform a hot cloth facial style thing with your cleanser and make it a bit more of an event.

What it's meant to do: "The combination of this rich, indulgent cleanser and the gentle exfoliating muslin cloth whisks away dead skin cells and daily grime whilst stimulating circulation, leaving your skin deeply clean, soft and radiant"



Well guys and gals. I must say I was impressed. I love my Liz Earle and don't think there's a better product on the market, but this is a decent alternative for when money is tight. It's only usually £8.99 (but you could get it for £3.99 with those vouchers that seems to be given out all the time). When I can't afford Liz Earle, I'm normally a make up wipes sort of lady, but I find that you have to scrub at your face to get rid of all the traces of make up. I found that even my most stubborn make up comes off easily with this lovely creamy, fresh smelling cleanser. Mmmmmm. AND like all No7 stuff it's Hypo-allergenic. Genius!

One last thing...rather than just keep washing the cloth every day. I use cotton wool pads to remove the cleanser and use the cloth for when I'm using it as a face mask sort of treatment. Alternatively, you can buy spare cloths if you're not as tight as me hehe!

2 Jul 2010

I want to go here so much it hurts...

Vintage at Goodwood is set to be one of the greatest events of the year and I'm super jealous of everyone that's going. It just so happens that it starts on my birthday to add salt to the wound and I can't imagine many things better than dressing up on your birthday and going around such a sophisticated and special place. Unfortunately I'm massively skint so unfortunately it's not going to happen this year.

To all of you who are going have a fabulous time and please tell me all about it. To all of you who aren't and are currently sulking like me we need to think of a way to have our own elegant fun in the sun so here are a few ideas combining the key elements of the festival:



MUSIC
Get down to your local gigs wherever they may be, dressed up in your best vintage gear and drink old school drinks. Failing that, add your favourite tracks from the likes of Sandie Shaw, Paloma Faith, Martha Reeves etc to your ipod and go on a road trip (avec sunglasses and neck scarf).

FASHION
 Shop at your favourite local vintage/vintage inspired boutiques online or on the streets of your home town. Some of my favourites are The House of Avalon and Prettyful Things. Treat yourself to something fabulous as though you are perusing the lovely stalls at Goodwood!

ART
Hit a local gallery. I plan to go to Artsbank, a fabulous new gallery in Saltburn which has a huge variety of art. I've been twice already and can't wait to rush back to see some new additions.

DESIGN
It's time to get crafty guys and gals. There are loads of crafts groups around the country and or online. Check out YouTube; Etsy; Folksy etc for projects for beginner to advanced!

FILM
Self explanatory. Sling on a DVD or get yourself to the cinema or theatre. My films of choice will be Roman Holiday, The Sweetest Thing, My Girl, Breakfast At Tiffany's, Now and Then and Amelie. What will yours be?

FOOD
Bake goodies! There are lots of lovely recipes online at UKTV Food so get your pinny on (make it a cute retro one) and become a domestic goddess for the weekend. You could even have a tea party and make all sorts of goodies for your friends, hang up bunting and drink out of china cups with saucers (tea always tastes best out of china cups doesn't it?!)

So that's my selection of ideas for none vintage festival goers. I hope you like them and manage to do some of them too. Who knows what little gems you may turn up on your hunt for vintage goodness? If you have any suggestions, please post them for other people.

Let me know how your own Vintage at ...(INSERT PLACE NAME HERE)............. turns out.

Tilly x

28 Jun 2010

Skin Saviour

I got burnt chatting to my friend last week. Now normally I'm really careful but you know how it goes and it's a simple equation...

Friend you haven't seen for a while + lots of chatting + sunshine = SUN BURN!

I wasn't being purposely irresponsible as the last thing I wanted was a half burnt, half white back and pain for a week but these things happen. Anyways, in my quest to try and reduce the redness and the heat emanating from my back and shoulders, I came across Malibu's Aloe Vera Gel and within a couple of days it had taken the heat away completely.




Because it's a gel it has a great cooling effect and even better when you leave it in the fridge. It claims to work against long term UV skin damage which is good news for me after my little mishap last week and restores the natural moisture of the skin. Although my back is now peeling (the skin did need to come off after being so badly burnt) I believe the gel lives up to its claim as my arms are really moisturised now even though they got a little bit burnt too.

The thing that impressed me the most about this product was the way that it didn't leave you feeling sticky or clammy like some other after sun products I've tried. It was absorbed my my skin very quickly and didn't leave any marks on my clothes and didn't leave a residue on the surface of my skin. the only time I noticed it again after that was in  the shower when you remember it was ever there.

I'd recommend it to anyone, whether you've been a wally like me or you just want to moisturise your skin after you've caught a few rays. I paid £3.99 in Superdrug so it's really affordable too. There is absolutely no excuse to not have this product in your bathroom.

24 Jun 2010

Heroes and a brass band.

Today I went to watch the Yorkshire Regiment parade and although I disagree with war I'm not ashamed to say I welled up a bit with pride. There was such a good turn out for them and I'm so glad because those troops are prepared to give their lives for their cause and it would be slightly tragic for us not to be able to give a couple of hours for them.

The other thing I loved was the brass band. When I was at school I was in the band with some of my best friends and I LOVED IT. There's never really been a feeling I can compare to the time we played at London's Royal Festival Hall. It was a mixture of being nervous, excited and overwhelmed all at the same time. What a buzz. Before the troops marched along with their own band, the sounds of the Squadronnaires could be heard. Lovely old tunes like that really transport you back to more gentle, well mannered times.


 

How cute are The Andrews Sisters?

I'd love to have lived then, if purely just for the fashion. People really made a lot of effort with everything back in the day. Once someone builds a time machine, I'm off!

23 Jun 2010

Welcome to my blog!

I've wanted to start a blog for a while now as a result of reading other awesome blogs like Retro Chick, Queens of Vintage and A Model Recommends.

In a more selfish sense I also wanted somewhere I could talk about my day, my interests and my thoughts. I guess I just wanted to take all the best bits of the blogs and discussions I enjoy and put them in one place.

So until I think of my first proper topic...

Toodleoooo x