Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Hello Goodbye

So here we are. What is it, more than 7 months down the line and no post. What are we expected to say next? I suppose I should stop faffing round and just go straight into it. I've been saving up to go travelling.

It's taken well over seven months, three jobs, and occasionally 60/70 hour work weeks to save up enough money to be okay for six months of travel. Will it be worth it? One would think so! We hope so.

I can't complain or anything.  This has been my goal for around a year now, more than that subconsciously. I need this trip to try and start a new slate with things at home. Try and just take a break with things or do some good elsewhere, with my own hands and efforts. I specifically want to try and change myself because I don't really like what's there at the moment. The fast lane of education that travelling puts people under is undoubtedly one way to do that, if there's any way.

You get see the world, see different people and cultures, and have to deal with things far harder than just language barriers. This is so, so important, and so few people actually get to experience much beyond their home county let alone country.

I've always believed you can't look at the news and truly appreciate both sides whilst sitting comfy on your sofa. Whatever your personal beliefs, things like the rise of the UKIP party, for me, feed off the fear of ignorance. If you have a problem with something, make sure you do your research before you completely pass judgement. Better yet, go out and see it, experience it, try and understand. Be wiser, be patient, be tolerant. I'm a pin cushion of built up fear, assumptions and misconceptions I want to wallop out of me. See, don't assume. I'm begging for this trip to make me a better person.

But I'm also terrified. A lot has happened over the last seven months that I wasn't expecting. It's made me feel so happy, and sad. Also the distraction of too many jobs and a far off goal can make you forget about the timeline, and the general motions of life. You get comfortable. What if I change too much. What if I come back wanting different things, or I hurt the ones I care about. Six months away isn't that long, but things change quickly sometimes.... What if I get hurt.

Still, off I go. On Monday I jet off to my personal unknown. All in all I will be excited. I just need to get into the swing of things,  a bit like how you're scared to start a new job and look forward to being four months in and no longer new to the game.

So do I take you guys with me? Of course I do! If you're interested that is. I have a blog set up, all ready. I intend to try and make it useful for all you lot who wish to travel and have not a hey-nonnie where to start. I am currently wearing those shoes, my friends, and of course you should learn through my mistakes! Especially as a first-time female traveler, with more natural concerns than average. I mainly wanted people to know that it's possible, it's hard work, but you CAN do travelling if you want to.  When reading my version though, bear in mind I'm not the type to just buy the flight out and see what happens. Myself and Camilla, my wonderful travel partner, have a rough plan, but a plan none the less.

All will hopefully be explained in the following:

So to all my friends and fam. There is no point getting sentimental. Life will continue, just in a different country. I will put my best foot forward and be the traveller I wanted to be! I'll try and be good and send a postcard or two!


Saturday, 12 April 2014

5# WIWT Dressing down can still be cute

Ok, admittedly, it's not like I've whipped out the 'Juicy' tracksuit bums, or even a pyjama set, but I'm still pretty pleased with this simple ensemble.... Perfect for surviving around the house on my day off, whilst having to entertain visitors and fight off horrific Man-Flu. Let me show you how you can look cute, but still be comfy.

*WARNING* major mirror/selfie sesh coming up...

So it's jeans and a jumper, WHAT? The key to this outfit is the detailssss! And anyway, if in doubt, know that you can always, always, rock a pair of jeans and a baggy jumper, whatever your style, shape or situation.

This baggy, black jumper is perfect for when you're not quite sure of what statement you want to make. Granted, I don't have too many neon yellow or coral options in my wardrobe, but you can never go wrong with monochrome. Make sure you rock a pair of scruffy, fluffy slippers. If you're lazing around the house, there's no point denying it, and slippers are the perfect accessory to put that fact out there, in style... or if anything, a belated 'bang'.

Another monochrome piece, much seen around town now, is the black and white striped top. Again, simple, striking and effective. Basically! This is a long sleeved top, paired with high waisted, light blue jeans. High waisted might not be for everyone, but I really like how it can make an outfit a little different, with not much commitment or effort. I have to roll up the ends on my trousers because they are a little short on me anyway, but luckily this can just work with the 'look'.

These particular jeans are from M & S. There's no denying it, they are complete Mum-Jeans, but I don't care!!!! They are soft, stretchy and comfy, which is the theme we are going for by the way. And yes, I bought these new and NOT from a charity shop, I would just like to clarify this! Ha

Accessories wise, we have a 'sailor' style plaited, beige belt. Again, easy to work with, but adds a little texture to the outfit, along with a little gold chain, given to me by my friend, but which adds a classic vibe. With jewellery, I prefer to keep it minimal, but perhaps hooped earrings or a couple of statement rings would work on their own as well?

My favourite thing at the moment is this colourful scrunchy from Claire's Accessories. Thanks to some inspiration from my Lush co-workers, I got in on the whole scrunchy-esque thing and haven't looked back! It's so wonderfully 90's! Wear your hair in a half up-do like I did, or in a full on high pony tail, either or, it's great fun and adds a niche to your look!

Last, but not least, I AM NOT WEARING ANY MAKEUP!! I am ill, and tired, there is no point, and nothing a few photoshop edits or a dusty mirror can't hide. But to be honest, you don't need it. And if you feel you do, try not to be afraid of going for a natural base and basic decoration. If you're tired like I am, it's good to give your skin a break. Simple as...

Jumper | New Look | £10 or so?? (it was a while ago!)
Top | New Look Two for £7 (?)
Jeans | M&S | £12
Slippers | Tesco | £6
Scrunchy | Claire's Accessories | £3
Necklace | Gift | Freeeeeeeeeee

Sorry this last post is a month late, hopefully it has made up for it! If you want me to write about anything specific, or that's on your mind recently, just post a comment and let me know..

Speak soon chickies x
(am deff not tipsy on sherry right now)

Monday, 10 March 2014


Being a scrimper with no money or decent income has its uses. One becomes most industrious in the ways of avoiding the dolla. 

This is no uni baked-bean diet my friends, this is the working life of a post-graduate graduate, and it is no mean feat! By ways of hard-and-fast learning, good times....and the bad, I can share with you my (lack of) wealth, and knowledge on all things 'money', or 'not spending of'...'said'....'money'. Anyways...

Step ONE


Avoid macdonalds AT ALL COSTS. It's easy to think on the oh-so-chep 99p cheese burger or £1.29 small fries (yes, they're over a pound, I was like 'wtf' too), but don't go there! 

Every. penny. counts. Say this quote to yourself until you're convinced it would look good as a tattoo.

Ok, so if you work in town, you're bound to walk past Maccy D's at some point, and it really was a long, frustrating shift at work, so why not treat yourself? I find the best tactic would be to gain some momentum just before the culprit in question, and especially just after, to carry you well and truly past your point. If this doesn't work, think about how you were considering turning vegetarian.... or imagine the gym and the sickly-sweet, sweaty people inside much better off than you. If all this fails, and try not to let it get to this point, let yourself go in, and pray beyond hope that the queue in there is MASSIVE. So massive in fact, that it really isn't worth your time standing there.

Step TWO

Put it back on the rail

Clothes are a luxury. Say this until your bum starts to look like a shopping list of tattooed quotes. You don't really need that jumper, do you? You have one quite similar at home. I promise. You have massive charity-shop clear outs every 6 months, yet used to spend £(undisclosed amount) on clothes every month. Why? Why why why why?

So lets walk through the scenario: 

You find yourself in a shop. How the frick did you get here? Who knows. We think it might be because you found one of your socks with a hole in today and, of course, socks are a necessity, so we should buy some more, yep.

Ok, well, have your fun. Pick up that jumper, that's also a nice shirt. Take it to the changing room. Try them on. Convince yourself it's worth buying. Step outside and take a look around, just once more. Think about it one more time. Do you reeealllllllyyyyy need them? 

Not really. I don't think so. Put them back. There you go. Much better. Now walk out, chip chop! Fast as you can! Scarper, I tell you, scarper!!

Another promise here, but 10 mins later, you'll feel good about yourself. Shopping is an addiction, it sets off an adrenaline and hormonal reaction in the brain throughout the experience, making you feel you need something you don't. The only way to calm it down is a good few minutes outside of the shopping environment. Your rational brain is back, and so is your bank account.


Honest, I'm drinking!

The hardest part of having no money is trying to convince your friends of your penniless situation. Socialising is one of the most expensive past times, and no matter how sympathetic your friends are, somehow they don't quite understand. Even if their budget is not the biggest, they're not waking up at night worrying, or thinking about their bank account every time they buy a sandwich. Most likely, they are sensible enough to be working full time, not working two part time jobs. But at the end of the day, your friends just want to spend time with you, and if you do nothing with your life, it just gets too darn depressing!

On a night out, don't drink alcohol! Try your hands at a water. Ask the barman to put ice and a slice o' lemon in it, the World and it's kitchen sink wouldn't know any better!! You can be sure of that.....usually, anyway, moving on, DON'T DRINK. DRIVE. Drive, and you save yourself an expensive taxi ride and that one drink too many.

You don't need alcohol, you really don't. And what's more, you're the one that's probably going to come off looking like an elegant, intellectual wiz-kid from all this so what's the bad side!? Drinking alcohol doesn't facilitate your ability to dance either, not drinking it merely makes you more able to negotiate your heels, therefore, more effective concentration required, ergo less hip wiggling.

For meals out, hopefully you can come to an arrangement with your friends to pick somewhere with a decent price range. If you find yourself tricked into an expensive joint, get a starter, order a tap water, just keep your input to a minimum. Your friends can't ask you to split even on an uneven bill, it's just not fair to pay for their extra starter and glass of wine! It sucks to be stingy, but if you don't have the budget, you don't. It should be your company friends are after, not your wallet.

And on that note, I've started arranging movie nights in rather than boozy nights out. You get your friends round, pop on a few films and all eat pizza. Pizza being five quid, bobs your uncle, you have a cheap date night! 


The little things

Having written this post, people have come up to me with extra suggestions, all of which are doable and something else to consider depending on your lifestyle:

- get a friend to cut your hair,
- you cut your hair,
- don't cut your hair,
- ride your bike more,
- make a packed lunch,
- don't date (coffee is more expensive than you realise),
- libraries have a great vintage movie selection usually at very cheap rental prices,
- libraries have free books,
- museums and galleries are free, usually,
- cook in bulk, freeze it, and you have dinner for a week.


Just say 'no'

The only method I find keeps you off the spending drug, is to just say 'no'. It's like 'breaking the seal' on a night out (god, I hope you know what I mean...), once you've gone, you just keep needing to go! Once you've let yourself slip, all your mental strength just goes and you start justifying it with "oh well, spent too much already anyway".

Don't. Just don't let yourself get there. Turn around and walk away! 

It's so hard, and you will let yourself slip at some point. I have already, and probably will do in the future. Just make sure you know you can get back on track and keep yourself there. I find it usually helps if you have something to save for, a goal. Whether it's a holiday, new clothes, night out, new car, whatever the weather, having that target makes all the pains and stresses of saving worthwhile and also more achievable. It's all about perspective.

So if you're on a budget, don't give in, just give up. Give up all that excess consumer twaddle you used to depend on, and you'll probably surprise yourself with the alternatives you can come up with.

Go team!

Thinking of you x

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

4# What I Wore Today (Birthday Boons)

It's time for an upbeat, fashion-based post beyond sarcasm and moping thank the Lord in HEAVEN on high oh my days!

Recently it was my birthday, and, due to the amazing generosity and help of my parents and wonderful friends, I had some shopping money to spend! Being on an incredibly strict budget due to my small income, I haven't been able to 'let loose' for ages, so this was a welcome leash into the retail outlets! I also had fun nights out which were included in the funds, so would like to point out I didn't go mental and fashion a whole new wardrobe!

However, it is always fun to have a nose through people's hauls. So here we are my friends, here are my 'Birthday Boons'...
Skirt | Firetrap | Sale at £6

First up, this awesome stretchy, knitted skirt. It's really long, well, average length on me! And I love how, at different angles, it shows sparkly blue bits! You can layer this with long tops or crop jumpers, or even wear it for nights out, a-which I am planning of course! Wait up for the Instagram of that one yeh? Anyways, #love

Dress | H&M | £7.99
Denim dress | Primark | £5
Jumper | Primark | £10
Top | Primark | £3
Skirt | H&M | £8.99

Here are a selection I got from my trip to Nottingham, and many thanks to Camilla for style-advising them for me! First is the simple drop-waist black dress from H&M, perfect for day wear, and my work, and is an easy, flattering shape. The denim dress and white fluffy jumper from Primark are everywhere at the moment, and totally worth the indulgence, it's like hugging a Polar bear when I wear it! The black top is a high neck, a refreshing shape in today's market, perfect for adding that edge to an ensemble, and works really well with this awesome coral-floral skirt, which looks like shorts from the front.

Sleeve cut-out top | New Look | £8.99
Buz Lightyear | TopShop | Sale at £5
Harems | Miss Selfridges | Sale at £8
Bobble hat | New Look | Sale at £4

The top with the cut-outs on the sleeve was an impulse buy and something I have been DYING to have for ages! I love it, so casual and cooooolll, it's also really long, so great for those legging pairings. The Buz Lightyear top is supposed to be nightwear but why hide a passion for Disney?? This baby is seeing daylight! The Harem trousers are made from this chiffony type material, and will be perfect for summer, especially at my work! I literally don't have any loose fitting trousers (just skinny jeans and leggings), that this will be a welcome break around the nether-regions, sorry to be blunt, but it's true!

Bralet | TopShop | £18
Jeans | TopShop | £36

The last two items are, quite obviously, the most expensive of my purchases, but they are also my key pieces. First off, is the black bralet top. I have been looking for a decent bralet for ages now, and could never seem to find the right balance of top/bra combo. Everything was either too lacy, or basically a crop top. I have small boobs, and under-wiring pees me right off. I am making a slow and effective change of my lingerie collection, to something more lightweight and simple, bralets being one of them. Perfect for summer, perfect for wearing under baggy tops (as shown), this is my fave and is totally brilliant. P.S. yes, feel free to perv at the pictures, what-evs. The second is TopShop's ultra high-waisted skinnies. These have been around for ages, and I've even been in a few times to try them on, fall in love, and sadly put them back because of the price. Now, thanks to my wonderful friends Helen, Grace and Anja, it has now been possible to buy them. Finally!! xx

Lip stick "Strong" | LUSH | Sale at £7.50
Eye shadow "Brownie&Clyde" | Body Shop | Sale at £3.50

Last, but not least, is a little display of my make-up looks, in case it interests any of you! We have gone from autumnal dark browns with a neutral lip, to a pop-modern cat-eye liner and bright red lippy. When I can be bothered, I love trying to play with different styles, and the best change of dynamic comes from a bit of lippy. I have everything from bold red, to pinks and purples. Try a different colour from your usual, and see how it changes your 'aesthetic'!

So that's it folks! Hope you've had a good gander through my new collection! This is it now for the next long while while I continue saving the pennies. The idea is to clever buy, and not buy to waste, though a little treat here and there can sometimes be allowed ;-)

Till next time! x

P.S. thank you sooooooo much to all my other friends and colleagues who treated me to naughty birthday gifts this year. They have all been eaten, drunk and placed with pride amongst my collections. Thank you, thank you!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Something I wrote a while back...

Do you ever just go through your old memory boxes or files, and find things like old poems or stories you wrote? Is it ever the case that these were quite good and you wonder where all that talent has gone? Haha....

Well, I've discovered a little written passage I created whilst at uni. It seems to be the start of a story, or novel in this case, staring an elusive female-Sherlock-Holmes-type character....see what you think!

"To anyone who has a mind to notice, this scene would have been enough to enquire some curiosity from their mundane thoughts and everyday routine. An elderly woman, standing in the middle of a public walkway, was staring intently at a house across from her, completely motionless, with a hint of irritation exposed on her fine features. 

Her clothes stood out the most. A long black coat, thick enough for a good winter, with a carefully arranged silk red scarf around her neck, tucked in. Her black gloves were of the finest suede, and she wore a black hat, the rim of which was extended enough to shelter her face if needed, whilst remaining practical. She seems to be in her fifties, but exudes a strength and youth that belies her age. Certainly the simple black cane she poised in front of her was not needed, merely decoration, or perhaps, purely sentimental, who would know, certainly not them.

This is what someone would see if they were to notice. However, at this point in time, no one was around.

She stood there, looking at the house in question, her elongated brows slightly risen. No greeting, no person waiting, except for her. She was not used to being unexpected, and this situation called for immediate action. 

Mrs S strode up to the large, black front door of the aristocratic town house, and rapped sharply three times with the back of her hand. She heard the sound echo off into what could only be lavish, open halls and dining rooms. Still, no response.

Here was a proud woman, who did not like to be mistaken for anything, especially the place and time of an important meet. She had better things to do, and this was not one of them. Again, she raised her hand and knocked three times, slightly louder, though not aggressively, a lady of her standing never lost control."

....DUN, dun, duuuuuun. Who knows what's to come next, eh.

Copyright moi (not that I'm going to get anything off this but I yet live in hope!)

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

F**king with your friends (not literally)

How long have you known your oldest friend? More than half your life? Since school? Is someone you've met recently already considered your best friend? Does it matter?

Probably not.

Whoever they are, whatever era they're from, and however long you've known them, our friends are probably one of the most important strongholds in our lives.

So this one's for you guys! All the friends out there, and, lets be honest, my largest reading audience! What constitutes a best friend? Well, anyone who sticks through this blog for a start but I digress...

Thinking about how much I owe the people I know, I mean really, really OWE them,... it's quite daunting. This counts all the times I've hurt their feelings, all the petty, shallow and naive ways in which I've acted around them, it puts my hackles up. Especially considering that, for some of my friends, this includes the pathetic behaviour of my childhood and teenage years. But this is my perception on myself.

I suppose I'm just wondering how much indecent treatment a friend is meant to put up with, and does it matter?

One of my closest friends keeps apologising for acting a certain way on a night out (respect of alcohol of course, the old fiend), or how much she might unload on me about her worries. I keep telling her it's more than ok, safe in the knowledge that I, myself, are guilty of such and more.

Not to say that it's ok to be a bitch (talking about me, not my friend), but I can't help thinking about how it can actually be a positive reaction to your friendship. To use and abuse them, to show them too much, expect too much from them, unload, offload, implode. Everything that would test a fledging attachment.... could be exactly the thing that brings your companionship to a new level.

Every wart you show allows that person to know your face even more.

With my friend, I feel I can make mistakes, because that's what humans do don't forget, and it won't matter. I can be a little rude to her, which is always unintentional, but it won't matter, because she already knows this. She knows me. She knows that, whatever silly thing I do, or screw I loosen, I'm a good person and there is much, MUCH more to me than this one, stand alone act. And this obviously applies vice versa.

Of course, don't go unloading your bags of shit all in one go. Anyone who is a nice person wouldn't really anyway, goes without saying. But what I mean is, those friends of yours who can take it when you fuck up, especially with them, are the ones who can see the bigger picture and can grasp at the beauty of your portrait beyond it all. Yeh, poetic.

Don't be afraid or over-apologetic about your mistakes. Admit you made them, but rest easy knowing that your good friends probably understand you a lot more than you think they do, and won't hold things against you.

Buddies of this calibre don't appear over night, and they are few and far between. Some happen instinctually, some take a bit of work. Some are created over time, when you've known them long enough to eradicate the notion of time altogether. Whatever the weather, keep them close. Make sure you facebook them occasionally.

I guess, to all my friends out there. I love you. Thanks for putting up with me, and also letting me put up with you!


Monday, 6 January 2014

New Years. Inspiring or just tiring?


Hope you had a good Christmas, holiday, New Year, chocolate, fat sesh, all that shebang.

So what's the plan now?

Does there have to be a plan?

New Years is perceived as this wonderful opportunity to start afresh. Reinvigorate your enthusiasm for life, or your life, as it were. Be more active, eat better, do a Facebook Friend clear out, blah blah blah..

Whilst there is nothing quite like the arrangement of a few thousand year old lunisolar calendar to help create the (excuse) jump you need, even at the ripe old age of almost-26, I already see it as just another day in the prolonged stretch of time that is your life. If you were going to better yourself, you should have done it yesterday, last month.

Or, you can start sorting things out perfectly well in the next couple of weeks.

I guess what I'm trying to question is, why is there so much pressure to change? Now? Just because society says it's a good time? Sometimes we do need a sort of 'mental jig' to help set things in motion. But on the other side of that is the pressure of expectations we can set for ourselves, only to give up or forget half way down the line.

Chill guys. Just chill.

January isn't your only opportunity to start the big to-do list. As with anything, generally you should rely on your own steam to set the ball of change in motion, at anytime of the year. New Year, new you? No, new moment, new you. There is no rush, and there is no absolute deadline.

New year, in it's self, is slightly depressing anyway. As well as a different number written on the top of your text books and letters, it also hints at you being another year older. One year less to do the things in life you want to do. No one needs that as a reminder! And you certainly shouldn't use it to rush into things or force a false expectation on yourself. You're only going to line yourself up for bigger disappointment or frustrations.

If you're naturally highly motivated as an individual, then setting goals works for you. If, like me, you struggle to raise the enthusiasm, then know that doing things in your own time is NOT A PROBLEM. Know yourself and your own capabilities, work with that, not with the yearly sales.

So this post is a bit of a downer! Sorry...

At the moment, I'm in some difficulty with my personal life, and constantly feel the strain of still having to grow up, still needing to get a career, make more money, move out, find someone, find something. It's kind of like having the ultimate New Years Resolution list, only you've been working on these particular goals for the past few years now. A recurring problem not uncommon amongst my peers.

I hope you can appreciate just how frustrating that makes things, and hence my tarnished perception on goal-making. Why sweat the small stuff when the larger side of life is still one big treadmill set on gradient 15!

However, and there's always a however, I understand that there is something wonderfully necessary about having a 'fresh start'. The New Year is universal code for the world to shake off old burdens and move on, benefiting all those involved.

Just don't stress yourself out trying to fix everything at once. Opportunities will still be there...

... as will the washing up, unfortunately!