new posts

21.1.20

A New Direction





Hello friends.

I have had this blog for a long ass time. Since 2009 in fact. I often don't like to tell people that, because I feel like it makes me sound like a bit of a failure. I haven't got a million followers, I'm not a #influencer. I mean, I've never been super consistent, which probably plays a part, but who knows why I'm not raking in the followers and all the sweet blogging dollar.

It is not, and never has been, my intention for this to be a full time gig. It's always been a hobby, something I've enjoyed planning and writing. I feel, however, that in the past couple of years I've neglected it, and it's been a bit of a hot mess. Mainly due to some personal stuff I've had (and still have) going on, which I might discuss one day, but also due to the demise of blogging in general I think. The blogs on my InoReader (RSS reader of choice since the sad sad closure of Google Reader - 6 years on and I'm still not over it) has diminished, due to people closing their blogs or never posting or me just outgrowing the content. Also, the tide towards blogging and long form content has completely turned - fast, Instagram #CoTeNt is now king. I put my hands up, I am guilty of starting to read some blog posts and giving up half way through, of favouring short snappy blogs over longer ones. But, but, in a way this is a good thing. I have honed my favourites; I still love a long, juicy read if it resonates with me. My favourite blogs, Man Repeller, The Little Plum, Wit & Delight still fill me with happiness and provide me with posts which I devour on my lunch break. I never want blogging to go away completely.

With that being said, I've joined Vix Meldrew's Glow and Grow blogging community and I am officially using this post as a way to be accountable to myself and start putting blogging high up on my agenda again.





Vix's number one advice is that every blog needs a niche. I've always described my blog as fashion, beauty and lifestyle, but I think it's time for a new direction. I still love fashion just as much as I did, but I see it in a completely new light these days - the sustainability conversation cannot be ignored and I don't want to be a big part of the fast fashion movement anymore. That's not to say I will never buy anything from the high street, but I want those things to be pieces I buy if there is a gap in my wardrobe, stuff that I will have for a long time, not just one season or event. 

To that end, this blog is going to focus on figuring out life as a 30 something year old - enjoying life in flux and navigating the ups and downs this brings. I want to talk about fun stuff - things and tips I have discovered which make life easier. Everyday insights into everyday things, as I find how different people do every day tasks endlessly fascinating. Sharing the best things, places and food in Bristol and beyond. Sporadic thoughts about a new jumper I love or charity shop tips I can't wait to pass on. Is that enough of a niche? I don't know. But let's just see how it goes shall we? If I have learned anything from the multitude of podcasts I now listen to, failure is no bad thing - in fact it is essential in life. 

I hope that you will continue to read this blog and enjoy the slightly different direction I will be taking. And I still can't wink.

16.12.19

12 Habits - 30 Days of De-cluttering




Thoughts about this habit:

  • The 30 day de-cluttering list I picked I did not read through before selecting, as I liked the idea of not knowing until the day of what I would be decluttering. I read the first few and thought they sounded good but in hindsight, deffo should have read it all through first. Some of the prompts did not apply to me, or I had already done (I'm so organised you see). I wish I had used Pinterest to compile my own list so I knew to put bigger tasks when I had more time (e.g. the weekend), and smaller quicker activities when I only had 15 minutes to spare (e.g. on days I do Brownies and Guides and basically want to fall straight into bed when I get home) 

  • As a result, I tended to group activities together on one day, which wasn't really in the spirit of doing a daily habit! 

  • As mentioned above, some of the tasks just didn't relate to me at all. For example, turning VHS tapes into DVDs, re-selling high end handbags, taking old pens to restaurants for waiters (random!)


  • As also mentioned above, a lot of the things I had already done or do tend to keep on top of, like de-cluttering my beauty products, recycling old magazines/greetings cards and unsubscribing to unnecessary marketing emails. So whilst these are all good ideas, had I read through the list to begin with I would have seen these and been more likely to create my own list, replacing these with more relevant tasks. 

  • Despite all these negative points, I still managed to de-clutter many areas of my life so all in all, I am going to hail this habit a success. My food cupboards are organised and easy to navigate. I have a list of pantry staples to use up which helps with meal planning. I have re-purposed my old, posh candles to use as trinket boxes for my hair clips and hair bands. My Tupperware cupboard looks wonderfully in order.  

For December, I'm giving myself a break because it's Christmas and I have written a lovely list of festive things to do in my bullet journal so I am going to prioritize fun!  

6.12.19

Notes from November






It's November and I'm already over the dark mornings. And the rain. At least my cat is extra chunky at this time of year. She gets so fluffy round her neck that it makes lines in her fur. The best. P.S This picture of her makes me want to cry it's so precious and I can't stop looking at it.

Reading

A bumper list of links this month!

This isn't a link, but a recommendation for a newsletter - The Collected Ahp is written by Anne Helen Petersen and her topics are also engaging and interesting, and things I have thought about often, put so eloquently.

Books I have read this month, reviewed in 3 words each
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez - confusing, magical, bizarre
  •  I Never Said I Loved You by Rhik Samadder- honest, raw, melancholy
  • The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel- intriguing, satisfying, good
  • Lullaby by Leïla Slimani - creepy, compelling, unnerving


Listening

Some excellent podcast episodes this month:

  • Let's Discuss 'You're not broke, you're pre-rich' with Emilie Bellet, who has the best french accent, seeing as she's french, and gives some excellent practical advice
  •  Isabella Tree on Desert Island Discs. This woman runs Knepp Castle Estate, a farm that her and her husband left to 're-wild', with amazing results. They have rare species like turtle doves and nightingales as well as deer, hogs and all manner of creatures. You can stay at the farm and I am desperate to.
  •  Nigel Slater How to Fail. I love Nigel and his way with words is *chef kisses fingers* 

Watching

I watched House share on BBC3, about a group of strangers who moved to a houseshare in London and have to share a budget. It was suitably trashy and watchable, would recommend. Rich and I looked after our nephews and watched Spiderman into the Spider-verse, which was surprisingly fresh and funny with a banging soundtrack. I had to keep getting out the Shazam so I did.


Eating

My legend of a sister in law found me Orange Twirls and sent them in the post. I know the hype is just big brand advertising and I could easily just get some other orange chocolate but I like the chase, like a little spy mission.

We went to Dangun, which describes itself as 'Modern casual Asian dining'  and I can confirm it was both modern and casual with tip top ramen, and big old portions for the price as well.

I took my mum to the Free From Festival where we enjoyed copious samples and I purchased some finger licking good fudge from Enjoy

Doing

Went to Stylist Live for the fourth time in as many years. I have to say, I don't know if it's just because it's no longer a novelty but I don't find there is anywhere near as much to do there as there used to be. The talks didn't really appeal and the interesting stalls were few and far between. Nevertheless, I will still probably go again next year.

Buying

Bought me some pleather trousers from Fox & Feather, an independent shop on Gloucester Road (it has the longest row of independent shops in Europe, fact fans) and I am wearing them as I write this very sentence. Pleather trews have been on my wishlist for ages, since my H&M pair sadly gave up the ghost and they are the perfect blend of slouchy and smart. I also purchased the blouse of dreams from Zara (picture), which makes all of my living in the Victorian era wishes come true.

Enjoying on Instagram

- This is both a purple dream and a fluffy dream 
- Depop Drama is in general, an excellent Instagram account. This tickled me. 
- I have - or had :( - a nail polish just like this and my love for it has now been ignited. 
- I love all the cute and whimsical pics on this lady's account


4.11.19

Notes from October


To celebrate Halloween here is my cat dressed up as a bat. Usually she hates wearing anything or having anything on her, but she quite liked being a bat, and living her life as a bat. Other things this month I have been...

Reading

A bumper edition of links this month!

Book wise, I've read two - Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimemanda Ngoze Adichi (one of my favourite authors, but this novel was good but not great in my opinion - it was a bit all over the place and some of the events were a bit tedious), and Don't Be a Dick Pete by Stuart Heritage which is about the author's brother who is an outlandish character. It was both funny and also a bit moving in places. The perfect combo. 


Listening

Of course, since last month when I said I have way too many podcasts on the go, I've added two more. I just can't resist! The Reality Tea is about reality TV and has the best guests, if you're into that kind of jazz - think people from TOWIE, Love Island and the like. I love a D-list celeb so much more than an A-lister. There is a Ru Paul's Drag Race UK podcast to accompany the TV programme, so naturally I had to subscribe to that. The new series of Dissect, which deep dives into a hip-hop album, is out and looking into DAMN by Kendrick Lamar, an album I enjoy a lot. 

I listened to an episode of The Food Programme about Joe Wicks and it made me have a lot of respect for him - I think I judged him a bit before listening, as I found him annoying, but he is actually very down to earth and personable. I have ordered his book Veggie in 15 from the library!




Watching

Rich and I were BUZZING to discover that The OC is on Amazon Prime. The outfits (both good and hilariously bad), the long lingering stares, Marissa's questionable acting. IT'S ALL THERE. As previously mentioned, Ru Paul's Drag Race UK is here and it's everything I imagined, plus it has Alan Carr. YES MAMMAAAAA. Can't get enough. 

The second series of Motherland has been making me laugh out loud, it's an underrated gem and I love Julia's style - she does great layering work with a polo neck and jumper! 

I was off sick for 2 days this month and I started watching Styling Hollywood, which is on Netflix. It follows the lives of a stylist to the famouses and his interior designer husband - their relationship is cute AF and their jobs entertaining. 

I also finally got round to watching Paris is Burning, the 1980s documentary about NYC drag queens. It shows how gay men were driven to underground clubs when they were rejected from mainstream society, and explains where so much of the drag scene originated - from vogueing to vocabulary. 


Doing

Rich and I went to Westonbirt arboretum to see the autumn colours, which as expected were a delight. Nice egg bap as well. 

We also went to the Planetarium in Bristol for Rich's birthday and learned about some autumn constellations; interesting and also made me feel very insignificant! Last but not least, I went to see The Receipts podcast live which was an absolute riot and I would like to go and see it every week please.  


Eating

We went to see my sister, who lives in Cardiff and on a whim went to a cafe called Longa, which was Turkish. Well my gosh it was bloody amazing. I had some sort of halloumi and roasted veg situation which sounds standard but trust me it was ELEVATED. I will be returning. 

One of my October goals was to make crumpets from scratch so I did that, using a super old Delia Smith book. They were good, if a little yeasty, and they took time to make because I only had one ring in which to make them. Would make again but with more rings and less yeast. 

I bought some Lindt mint chocolate truffles which make me want to cry they're so melt in the mouth good. 

Enjoying on Instagram


She'll get you.

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