Looking back on 2015

Looking back on 2015

So, this year ended on a kind of shit note but, to be honest, 2015 was quite good! A friend and I have a theory that even numbered years tend to be good so I am looking forward to 2016 and hoping it smashes 2015 out of the park.

This year I have done some pretty exciting things so I thought that, like every blogger on the planet, I would follow the trend (for once... Still not doing a 30 by 30...) and do a quick round up of the good bits.

New friends

I went through a period recently where I felt I only had a handful of friends in London, one who has been my partner in crime since we were teenagers, my boyfriend and a couple of people I genuinely haven't had time to see. To be honest, I was kinda sad about it. This year though, I made friends on the internet. This is a thing that genuinely happens! Not really sure how this year would really have gone without my #Bangarang Babes. Thank you ladies!


Two years with my boyfriend

A little bit lovey dovey but the past two years have been pretty damn good. He treats me like an absolute queen and is my ultimate geek out partner. Ta Gary. 


Holidays 

Yup. After years of nada I went on holiday this year. To Nice with Gary and then to Barcelona for his birthday with his friends. It's kind of given me the itch. Roll on getting a new job and I'll be getting off for another break!! At least for a weekend...


Weddings

I've been to a bunch of them now but most importantly, this year one of my oldest friends got married. I cried a lot.


I have also been to one where this happened and I regret nothing.


Star Wars 

OK, this one isn't exclusive to me nor is it an achievement/milestone but this year has been full of it. Star Wars is one of my (and Gary's) favourite things. This year we got to go to Secret Cinema for Empire Strikes Back (the best one), seen The Force Awakens twice (I screamed and cried in joy and sadness) and we're currently spending our New Years Eve playing Battlefront on the XBox with friends. Geek Central down here.


There's definitely so much more I could tell you about but I did have to narrow it down. Plus, I'm writing this post on my phone so Lord knows what the format will be like etc. I'll fix it later if it's crap. (update: Blogger wouldn't let me change it...)

Happy New Year everyone! Roll on 2016 with more laughs, new adventures and who knows what else.

*kiss*

Glam Clam Blogger Christmas Bash

Glam Clam Blogger Christmas Bash


The #GlamClamMeatSlamSquad

This year I went to three Christmas Parties. Everyone loves a Christmas Party but,  let's face it, they tend to get a bit same-y. There are loads of 'safe' options that everyone goes for and (especially when you go to a couple a year) they all tend to get a bit repetitive. When organising a blogger Christmas bash we knew we had to take the whole Christmas Party shenanigans one step further. On an 'average' night out we tend to do the likes of Musical Bingo and Gospeloke... expectations are obviously high. We were stuck for a while but were luckily saved by Charlie, Distracted and her amazing list of restaurants to go to and awesome Googling skills. Some food and cocktails in Camden followed by a BLOODY DRAG SHOW! Hell yeah.

writer's block and broken lenses
Image courtesy of Little Miss Katy
No one likes organising a Christmas Party though, especially when there are loads of you involved. Not only do you have to find something to do (turns out a lot of our outrageous ideas either too expensive or had sold out months ago) but there's also the drama of the money. Either splitting a bill ten ways, much to the enjoyment of the waitress who has to do some intense A-level maths in her head, or work out who owes who money when you're already three bottles of wine in. This year w were able to take all that drama away with the help of Santander and their new App KiTTi. The app works just like an old-school kitty, you can all pop money into the KiTTi (ha!) and you can then transfer it straight over to the card they send you so you can spend it all easily using card machines, t'internet and even over the phone. One of the plus sides is that you can use the app to track exactly how much money you have left on the card. Awesome.

For the first half of the evening, we went to have much needed cocktails and dinner at Q Grill in Camden.

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There was much excitement over this and after out first cocktail and starters, it appeared we made a good choice. To start Charlie and I shared the Spiced Cornbread Waffle and Blackened Butterfish. Both were incredible and as I don't really eat fish, I was very impressed. I wanted more of it.

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Blackened Butterfish

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Cornbread Waffles
With this to set us off and how amazing the Smokes Beef Hash we had as a main sounded and looked, it was a disappointment. Soz guys!

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Smoked Beef Hash with Duck Egg
Next, onto the highlight of the night. The Queens of the Glam Clam, a pop up dining experience with food by Gizzie Erskine. Obviously, we were only in it for the drag though.

I'm a massive RuPaul fan (Sharon Needles is obviously the best winner) and love drag as a whole but had never been to a show. I expected a lot of 'lip sync for your life' moments and was not disappointed.

writer's block and broken lenses


writer's block and broken lenses

The evening was broken up into different musical numbers from Diva of the evening Colette Cooper, jazz from her band and, obviously, some drag.

Image courtesy of Little Miss Katy
The Queens themselves (I think) took a shine to us. Always making appearances at our table and, at one point, presented us all with shots. In between causing havoc around the room and making some of the clearly uncomfortable men in the room feel even more uncomfortable. One poor guy had one of the Queens clamber all over him pretty much naked. He took it well though!

Everything from the show itself to the decor just screamed glamour. With people around us enjoying their food while dressed to the nines, in evening gowns and tuxedos, with light up mirrors a la Hollywood dressing room all over the joint. It was just amazing

sneaky photo of me reapplying lippy by Captain Charley

Little 'n' large - a photo op too good to miss by Charlie, Distracted
Selfie with one of the Queens by Charlie, Distracted
One of the best pictures ever. Dancing with Captain Charley by Milly
A fun night of food, booze and ALL THE DANCING was had by all and I'm proud to say that our Christmas Party must have put so many others to shame. Massive thanks to Santander for letting the #GlamSlamMeatSlam girls kick off the party season in style.

#SquadGoals - photo courtesy of Little Miss Katy




*This post was sponsored by Santander and KiTTi.

Films they should not remake. Ever.

Films they should not remake. Ever.


Earlier this week, news was announced that Christopher Nolan's Momento is going to be remade. And I was angry. It's barely 15 years old and it's already going to go through the Hollywood rehash.

Obviously, I'm not the only person in the world who expresses fury when someone decides 'well, we're out of ideas again, so let's redo something else'. Most recently, the American version of The Returned. Just no.

I did a shout out on Twitter and fellow film nerds started to emerge listing some of their favourites that SHOULD NOT BE TOUCHED! A lot of them are bang on point.
I clearly have a lot in common with a lot of people (especially my #Bangarang girls).  There are a bunch of films in this discussion that are pinnacles of filmmaking and to touch them would be the ultimate insult. As you can probably tell from my header photo I have quite an extensive lists of films that need to be protected. Somehow I have managed to nail it down to a top 5...

Gone with the Wind

Writer's block and broken lenses


Gone with the Wind has always been my favourite films. Yes, it goes on for about 4 hours but they are 4 hours of brilliance. Plus there's the interval which gives you the perfect opportunity to make a cup of tea in the middle.

Gone with the Wind is the best example of Hollywood at its finest. A not quite love story throughout the American Civil War. Scarlet O'Hara always throws aside her own happiness in order to save her family and home and it's not until the very end where she's experienced the greatest tragedy when she realises what will truly make her happy but unfortunately it's too late. Vivienne Leigh is absolutely perfect in this role and it's strange how much of the character is reflected in her real life. It's almost like it's a role that was MADE for her.

True Romance

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Christian Slater when he was still hot? CHECK. Written by Tarantino? CHECK. Stellar cast in general? ABSOLUTE CHECK! It's a love story with guns, people!

Seriously, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this film. From Samuel L. Jackson's grand five minutes on screen, Brad Pitt playing a stoner to Gary Oldman as a rasta pimp... it's just brilliant. Plus the score is by Hans Zimmer... all the win.

This is definitely one of my favourite films. And my boyfriend's for that matter. We both love it so much we went to see it on 35mm at the Prince Charles Cinema.

Please just watch this film.

The whole Harry Potter series

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Especially The Half Blood Prince. 

I'm counting these as all one film. I know that they will be remade at some point in the future because it is one of the most successful franchises of all time and it has gripped the hearts of more than one generation for nearly 20 years. It has certainly been a massive part of my life since I was 9-10 years old.

Yes, it's fun to go back and laugh at some of the bad child acting at the very beginning but there further along you go, the darker they get and all the more perfect. There are obviously a couple of things from the books I wish they kept and I am always a broken mess from The Half Blood Prince onwards but if anyone were to remake them, I will be beyond heartbroken. No one will ever be as good as Alan Rickman as Severus Snape and we all know it.

The Princess Bride

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Possibly one of the most quotable films and a family favourite. It's one of those films that takes the piss out of itself, so much so it has really stood the test of time and I will happily always watch it again. It's not to everyone's taste and I have noticed that unless you've grown up with it, you possibly don't 'get' it. That's how I try to justify people don't liking it anyway.

The Red Shoes

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We studied this when at Uni for our British Cinema module. It's a story within a story based on the Hans Cristian Anderson fairytale. There are many rumours around this film, like how Moira Shearer wasn't allowed to become Prima Ballerina for a leading ballet company because she made the artform available to the masses through a 'vulgar' film.

A triumph of Powell and Pressburger, The Red Shoes is an explosion of colour and art in a previous monochrome period of British Cinema. It was cited to be a failure but received a massive cult following and is as popular today. It's just beautiful.

The Labyrinth

writer's block and broken lenses


Dude. It's David Bowie in tights, as an adult I can now appreciate this (*giggle*). Similarly to The Princess Bride I think that unless you grew up for it, it's probably not for you. 

BUT! What's not to love, the aforementioned Bowie as the goblin king, songs you can actually sing all day, a Strong female lead who doesn't want to live up to everyone's expectations, or even the dark side of love? Well... obsession at least. It's kind of adult muppets with a dark twist and it makes me happy every time I watch it.

Plus, Bowie.

OK, yes. I'm aware that's not 5... I changed my mind so many times while writing this list that I just decided to go for 6. What of it?

What films do you think should never be remade, EVER?

Winter boots wishlist

Winter boots wishlist



Dresses in Winter can work, I promise. I know a lot of people aren't brave enough to even contemplate it, especially since it is currently still technically Autumn and it's bloody freezing! I'm just too stubborn to pack a lot of my dresses away. The best way I have found for this to work is to wear multiple pairs of tights with boots.

I have an annoying habit where I buy a pair of boots every year but they're always something cheap, from Primark or other highstreet stores, so they always end up looking battered after a couple of months or break. It's not the most cost effective thing and, quite frankly, it's a pain in the arse. You think I would have learnt by now.

I've been saying for ages that I'm going to 'invest' in some boots but as it's so close to Christmas, I have put together a wishlist instead of just running out and buying them. I do have other people to shop for!

Riding boots

You really can't go wrong with a pair of riding boots. They pretty much work with everything. They're what I have mostly been keeping my eyes out for and have really struggled to find the perfect pair. These brown ones from Jones the Bootmaker* however are ideal.

writer's block and broken lenses.


Such 90s. Very Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I know suede boots probably aren't the best choice for winter in Britain but they look so comfortable and I'm pretty sure they're something I would wear to death. Not only would they look great with casual winter/let's pretend it's still summer dresses but with the right accessories, they could work with a more formal outfit. Especially for Christmas parties...



Boots with a slight heel are always a good choice. I have several pairs at home but they tend to be more ankle-ish length. Something a bit higher would definitely warmer. Annoyingly these ones in particular don't come in my size but they're a good example of something I want.


Brogues!

Well, kind of. I bought a pair of boots like this a few years ago. They didn't last me very long and I was very upset when they broke. I still insisted on wearing them when they had holes in though which meant I had wet feet quite often. Stupid me. 

These brogue-ish boots are pretty much identical and it's clear that they're of a much higher quality than the ones I previously had. Much want. Especially since it would be like releasing my inner Mary Poppins!



Do you have any boots on your Christmas list this year?



*Disclaimer. This post was sponsored by Jones the Bootmaker


The Bridges of Madison County

The Bridges of Madison County

writer's block and broken lenses
Image Source

It's been a while since I last did a book review so it's about time I bring them back! Mostly because it means I sometimes forget what I have read...

When I read, I tend to stick to the same genres, most generally Fantasy and Science Fiction with the off YA thrown in occasionally. Last year my grandparents came down from Scotland and we went shopping to find a copy if a specific book as a present for someone. As the title suggests, it was The Bridges of Madison County. It turns out that this is a bit of a family favourite so in order to see why I got it on my Kindle. Its one of the best decisions I have made in terms of books for a long time.

The Bridges of Madison County is centred around two characters and their four day romance that would change their lives forever. A take of one of 'the last cowboys' and a farmers wife.

I don't really like romance tales. I barely read them and unless there happens to be a touch of romance in one of the fantasy books, I tend to ignore them. But this was different. When we realise from the very beginning that these two people only have four days together, I felt automatically engaged and sympathising with the characters even though I hadn't really met them yet.

If I could describe this book in one word it would be 'wonderful' without a shadow of a doubt. The fact that there are only two characters throughout the story and an ended that's so sad yet happy will make you want to read it over and over again. There are so few books that will truly grip you from the very first chapter so when you do find one it's like you're finally experiencing a thrill that is lacking from other books you may have read recently.

If you're like me and don't like romance novels normally, this would be one for you. It's far from chick-lit and far from those typical romance books you normally find in your local charity shop. Give it a go and see what I mean.

What's your favourite book of 2015?

My favourite TV shows this Autumn

My favourite TV shows this Autumn

Not sure about you but I love TV this time of year. My favourite shows always come back (except for Game of Thrones) and I can spend my evenings sitting in my pyjamas, eating junk food and thoroughly enjoy myself without needing to make too much effort. Well, no effort at all really. God I'm lazy this time of year!

Recently, Panasonic and their new Viera 4k TV range have been challenging bloggers to talk about their favourite programmes. This was actually a challenge as well, there are so many things I am watching right now that it's difficult to narrow them down!

Without being too long winded and essentially saying 'WATCH ALL THE THINGS!', here's a quick overview of my weekly TV routine. Yes, I have a TV routine. Don't you judge me.

1. Doctor Who


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BBC/Doctor Who


Doctor Who is back! Well, it came back in September... And i"m still excited about it. As much as I love the other Doctors before him, I find Capaldi brings a whole new gravitas and darkness to the character. Some people have said that the show has been going down hill under Steven Moffat but controversially I think this season has had some of the best episodes since Blink way back in 2007.

Really, you only need to watch last week's episode. to truly appreciate how good Capaldi is and how he is just MADE for this role. His speech made about war during The Zygon Inversion has been hailed as one of his greatest moments by the Radio Times and the internet has not shut up about it.


2. The Walking Dead

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AMC/ The Walking Dead

Oh. My. God. The Walking Dead. Just, I can't. This season has just been beyond brilliant. I felt that the last couple of seasons have lagged a little bit in comparison to the first (which we all know was incredible) but this season has just gone above and beyond. 
I'm not going to do a spoiler related thing but this season has just reaffirmed why I should never get attached to characters. I have been on the edge of my seat for weeks just praying that the thing that happened, didn't happen! It's been a right torment.
3. Grimm

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TNT/ Grimm
This one was actually a nice surprise. The last season didn't end that long ago but as we've got it on series record on Sky we just spotted in our planner and got very excited. 
Grimm is a supernatural/geeky show where you don't know whether it's awful or brilliant. After the last series and that annoying cliffhanger, I'm now going with the latter. It follows the basic premise of good vs evil, human vs monster. At first I thought it was just something trashy I could use to fill the void between other shows and seasons but now I look forward to each episode. Plus, some of the characters are easy on the eye... :-p
4.  American Horror Story: Hotel

writer's block and broken lenses
20th Century Fox/ American Horror Story Hotel
Currently hit and miss at the moment but that could be because Jessica Lange has gone (*weeps*) and Lady Gaga just does not live up to her. No one ever will to be honest.
The things I love about American Horror Story is that it has the tendency to terrify me, even if it's not the 'jump out of my skin and scream' way it did in the first season. Now, it grosses me out and makes me feel very uncomfortable but still have the urge to sleep with the light on. 
This season really hasn't been the best but last week Angela Basset made her return so I can only see it getting better from here.
5. Once Upon a Time

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ABC/ Once Upon a Time
What would happen if all your favourite fairytale characters came to the real world. In short: a TV show that's so bad it's good. Very low budget for a show where a majority of the scenes and villains require a lot of CGI and terrible acting from at least one major character... but it's wonderful and I don't know why. 

Things I am looking forward to

There are a couple of things that are still yet to grace our screens/I haven't watched yet/aren't available in the UK yet (very annoying).

1. The Returned

This one is back on Channel 4 now, an amazing French programme and we have been waiting for three years for just the second series. It's almost as bad as Sherlock in that sense! The last series left us on such an annoying and frustrating cliff hanger that I am waiting for the episodes to build up just so Charlie, Distracted and I can have a proper binge.

2. Supernatural

This is one that's already on in America and I'm not sure when it's next back in the UK. It's one of my favourite series and is now on its 11th. I'm probably just going to have to smash through the other 10 just so I get my fill.
3. Christmas specials

Doctor Who and Sherlock. I really don't need to say anything else here.


What are your favourite TV shows this season? If you're stuck for something to watch, IMDB have a list of new and returning shows right here.


Disclosure: Collaboration with Share It Quick

What I got up to in October 2015

What I got up to in October 2015

October is always manic for me. It's my boyfriend's birthday, my birthday, my friend's birthday... Halloween... It's a month where I genuinely struggle to find time to breathe. Even now things are only just starting to calm down a tiny bit and we're now in the second week of November!

Despite how busy October was. it was absolutely amazing. I had the opportunity to go to loads of events, spend time with some of my favourite people and even have my second holiday of the year. All the win.

In no particular order, here are some of the best things I got up to in October.

1. A weekend break in Barcelona

You can read more about this here but I'm still not over how much of an amazing time I had. October is a wonderful time to go away, it's still hot in Spain and there's nothing better than sitting outside a cute bar, a glass of Sangria in hand watching the world go by.


2. Hillary's Crafternoon*

I love crafting. It's so therapeutic. A lot of my projects tend to go unfinished... like that bloody blanket... With Hillary's we had a whole afternoon of eating cake. drinking tea and crafting as a whole. We made jewellery boxes using some of their beautiful fabrics and I even (finally) succeeded at making rosettes after YEARS of trying. Thanks Hillary's! You can read more about their crafting events right here.




3. Yelptoberfeast

Some of you may already know of the App Yelp. Throughout October, the guys at Yelp held a series of events* for their users and bloggers to experience more of the best of London.

I managed to bag myself an Escape Hunt style experience with Yelp and Thinking Bob. Little Miss Katy and I were extremely excited when we stepped into the first room and discover it was Harry Potter themed and managed to solve all the clues in less than three minutes (I think) #Boom. Kind of made the fact we both turned up wearing Hogwarts jumpers look intentional.



4. Jason Webley is back!

Back before I started my blog, Charlie, Distracted and I went to see a wonderful musician called Jason Webley live before his 'year break'. It was one of the best gigs I have ever been to and I kept waiting desperately for that year off to be over. possibly 3/4 years later he finally came back and performed at the Old Queen's Head in Angel. Although the support act was very strange (#Art) Jason Webley was as wonderful as we remember. If you haven't heard of Jason Webley until now, get on Spotify immediately and listen to Ways to Love. Do it.


 5. Musical Bingo Birthday Fun

Going to Musical Bingo for their Halloween Ball has become a bit of a tradition now. As I may have mentioned countless times before, my birthday is the day before Halloween so I have always celebrated in and Musical Bingo is one of the best places to do it.

This year we made it two years running with trophies for Best Dressed (three for Charlie) and walked away with the trophy for 'Best Team Effort' after we went for a Mean Girls theme with #HallowMeanGirls. I played the role of Gretchen Weiners who was killed by Regina George because I wore hoop earrings. Annoyingly my phone died so I don't have any pictures of this ultimate moment.

Let's make it three years running next time.

Seriously, that is just a snapshot of my mental October life. I'm sure there's a lot more but that'll have to do. I keep hoping November is a lot quieter but I just looked at my diary and I'm starting to think that won't be the case. Ho hum!

What did you get up to in October? Was your month as mental as mine?



Disclosure: Everything marked with a * I was invited to attend for free.

Life's too short to be unhappy

Life's too short to be unhappy

For the first time in forever, I've had a good week. Not a good day, a good week. To be fair, this month has been better than the past four. I won't bitch and moan and go on about how hard adulting is and how hard the world is because I have decided that life is too short.


Image and video hosting by HilariousGIFs.com
I'm going to be completely honest here and say I'm done with the sneaky crying in the toilets and taking my mood home. I'm done with being constantly stressed out and done with worrying about the future. I mean, what's the point? My good friend Bloody Hell Brennan wrote a post all about being cute to yourself and I have decided to adopt this mantra. Thanks KB.
I have decided to focus on the promising things and become a ball of positve energy instead. Kinda hard for someone as miserable as me but I'm sure I can hack it. All of this negative energy is not healthy and I beat that shit ages ago so I will not let it bring me down again. To remind myself of this fact I have put together a little list of five things I like about myself, 5 things I'm looking forward too and 5 things I will do to make everything easier.

What I like (being cute to yourself as KB would say)


My relationship
OK, yes this involves liking an extra person too but still. I'm in the best relationship I have ever had and it means I look forward to going home every night, spending weekends doing nothing and waking up to someone awesome every morning. Seriously, this guy keeps me grounded and happy.

I have awesome nails
I have neglected them for a while due to stress and general business but they are brilliant.

I'm a little bit weird but it's definitely OK
I belong in a lot of the fandoms and a day doesn't go by where I don't manage to squeeze in at least one Harry Potter or Mean Girls quote. I'll happily rock a bow tie and use a lunch box as a bag. Although I know what my natural hair colour is, I can't really remember what it looks like. I have a creepy cat face tattooed on the back of my neck and I have spent the past month listening to the London Philharmonic Orchestra playing video game music on repeat. 

All of these things are a little bit strange if we're honest but they make me me and I like that.

I have a talent
I play instruments and we all know that's pretty cool. A lot of people won't be able to just look at a piece of music and be able to play it but I can

I'm sometimes funny
Not all the time, but I can be funny and laughing is one of my favourite things, even if it means laughing at myself. #Loser


What I'm looking forward to

BIRTHDAY
Yeah, pretty much not going to shut up about this one for a while (by the way, it's next week)
Musical Bingo
Technically fits into the birthday category too but still.
Fireworks with the family

Alexandra Palace host fireworks every year for bonfire night and they're always wonderful. This year some of my family will be coming down to join me and Gary for a night of mulled wine and going 'oooh, ahhh' repeatedly at the sky
CHRISTMAS
Dude, this is an obvious one
Going away
We don't have anything planned just yet but I know Gary and I will go away together soon. Whether it's a weekend away in the UK or finding some amazing bargain and jetting off somewhere. Maybe Barcelona again :-p
 

What I'm going to do


Treat myself


I don't mean the whole spending a fortune on a bunch of things I don't need (although that will probably happen anyway), I mean treating myself to a relaxing evening. Whether that's going to the pub for a drink, a dinner out with Gary or just sitting at home, having a bubble bath and pampering myself. Sometimes we all need a little treat.

See my friends more

I see my #Bangarang girls quite often and I always end up going home with aching cheeks and a sore belly from all the laughing. There are also a bunch of friends who I haven't been able to see for a while (combination of stress and not wanting to leave the house due to sadness) and I need to sort that out! 

Remember to do my face every night

I know this should be a given really but I'm rubbish and forget to do it more often than not. I find that when I've done my face properly I am so much more relaxed and sleep better so I need to have more of a routine at night

Have breakfast

I'm constantly being told that it's the most important meal of the day and I never have it. I'm more of a lunch person... I find I'm always tired these days and I start drooping around 11am so I'm going to try this whole breakfast thing to see whether it improves my mood and energy levels every day.

Call my mum more

I hate talking on the phone but my mum lives in Scotland and I miss her.

I have decided that the rest of 2015 is going to be fricking awesome no matter what and I will do my damned hardest to make 2016 equally as awesome! *end scene*


MUA: A cheaper alternative

MUA: A cheaper alternative

writer's block and broken lenses

Make up is expensive as hell. Sometimes I wonder why I spend so much money on it and so much time doing it... but then the results are just great.

Like everyone out there, I don't HAVE to wear makeup, I enjoy wearing make up... As much of a financial nightmare and pain in the arse it can be sometimes.

Recently I have ran out of not only my favourite foundation but also my favourite powder. Unfortunately it is a little too close to pay day for me to justify spending around £50 to replace these things (although I know they will last me at least a year) so I thought I'd try something else, at least until payday.

writer's block and broken lenses
Sad times...
I know a lot of people have been raving about MUA, all I have ever tried from them is lipstick and as I have found my favourite products, I'm a little precious about them and I'm a bit wary of anything new. BUT when foundation is only £2 odd... it's definitely worth a go, right?

I went for the Matte Perfect liquid foundation (fair) and a translucent powder as I am a pale person and I always struggle to find things to suit my skin tone. Annoyingly, I found their 'fair' a little too dark but with a serious amount of blending I think i managed to make it work.

The liquid foundation claims to do this whole shine control thing that 'lasts all day', but to be perfectly honest, I found that didn't happen and I had to re-powder my face frequently to keep the shine at bay.

Awkward selfie time!


However, the foundation was a nice consistency and didn't feel too heavy on my face. Although the shine was a problem, the foundation itself definitely stayed put and I don't have a single fault with the powder. Then again, you can't really go wrong with a translucent powder, can you?

In short, you get excellent value for money when you get MUA products and they are certainly to a higher standard in comparison to other products I have tried. However, I'm not really a convert and other than the odd lipstick (which are really good), I'll still be getting my cosmetics from my trusty Benefit.

Have you ever tried MUA products? Let me know what you think in the comments


Barcelona 2015

Barcelona 2015

writer's block and broken lenses


I have been to Barcelona many times and it's definitely one of my favourite cities in the world (after London, obviously).

I have just got back home after a weekend away for my boyfriend's birthday and am already missing it. It's bloody cold here especially compared to 22 degree heat in October where I could happily walk around without a jacket. At the time of writing I am making one of my favourite winter warmers (Cottage Pie) just to get the cold 'out of my bones'.

Considering I'm not exactly a stranger to Barcelona and the friends we were with also go regularly, we didn't do the whole tourist thing this time. We planned on visiting the Sagrada Famillia, as I always go and see the progress made everytime I'm over there, but then we forgot. We spent most of our time there exploring the Gothic Quarter, which is my favourite part of Barcelona, eating ALL the food and drinking ALL the booze.

writer's block and broken lenses


We stayed right on La Rambla in the Royal Ramblas hotel (which was lovely). I know La Rambla is essentially Tourist Central and I know a lot of people don't really like it but it was such a convenient location that we knew it wouldn't take us long to get anywhere.

On the first night I got to experience my first Tapas. That's right, the number of times I have been to spain and I have never had Tapas...

Tapas then became a regular feature over our weekend away as well as the best steak I have ever had when we went out for my boyfriend's birthday dinner. I just can't get over how much I ate.

One of my favourite things was a tuna salad which sounds really simple but it's all different over there and tasted wonderful. I made the mistake of ordering one for myself because I thought it would be a nice starter, turns out it would have worked as a meal. When my main meal arrived I realised I had made a terrible mistake and was defeated. Too. Much. Food.

writer's block and broken lenses

writer's block and broken lenses
With knife for scale... It was bigger than my face
Writer's block and broken lenses
Still had space for coffee though...
It was rather difficult to get pictures of the rest of the food, especially since I was away with non-bloggers!

When I wasn't eating or exploring, I was mostly drinking. Mostly sangria. As we were exploring the Gothic Quarter we came across a place called Penny Banger that looked very unassuming from the outside but was wonderful inside. The walls were covered in beautiful yet obscure artwork, the Sangria was the best I had over the weekend and there was a puppy who kept coming over to visit. If you're ever in Barcelona and need a good drink, you should definitely go there.

writer's block and broken lenses
Not entirely sure what's happening here...
writer's block and broken lenses
A fishbowl of alcohol

If you have never been to Barcelona, you need to go. As you can tell from this post, not only is it a beautiful place with stunning architecture EVERYWHERE. It's full of amazing finds that you just stumble upon. The food is amazing as well as bigger than your face, and you're never far from a bar.

Obligatory Holiday Selfie
Have you ever been to Barcelona?