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. 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?