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.

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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

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
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.

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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.

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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

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With knife for scale... It was bigger than my face
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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.

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Not entirely sure what's happening here...
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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?

Red, white and gold: My new favourite outfit

Red, white and gold: My new favourite outfit

writer's block and broken lenses

In September my friend turned 27 and we celebrated by drinking all the booze at Bourne and Hollingsworth. Afterwards, we did that whole outfit picture thing. While drunk. It was brilliant.

Instead of buying new clothes, I've been trying to attempt to save money (not working) by wearing old clothes and finding new ways to style them (is working). I decided to brave the fact that I was going to eat a lot of messy food and wear white. I rarely wear white because I am a messy eater and it almost always ends in disaster and a bright orange stain somewhere. But, #YOLO (yeah, I did that).

I picked up this dress from a vintage market in Dalston about two years ago and I have probably worn it twice. Not only because of the messiness but also because do you have any idea how difficult it is to find a pair of pants that can't be seen under a white chiffon dress? It's bloody hard.

Writer's Block and Broken Lenses

So I didn't look too much like a bride, I chose to pair it with my red Floozy bag and the gold shoes I bought from Debenhams for my friend's wedding in August. And I love it.

Writer's Block and Broken Lenses

Taking outfit pictures while drunk is amazing, even more so when you're an awkward camera person like me and you're being 'directed' by a fellow blogger who's so effortlessly flawless and good at this kind of thing... I'm looking at you Little Miss Katy! I'm sure she got annoyed with me towards the end.

Some of the results are hilarious, she told me to walk... #AWKWARDFACE!

Writer's Block and Broken Lenses

And I have absolutely no idea what was happening here or why I am pretty much on the floor WEARING A WHITE DRESS

Writer's Block and Broken Lenses

I can't even...

Thank you Katy for taking all the pictures, I'm sorry if I was a pain in the arse.

How do you think I did styling a white dress?

Bottomless Bellinis and Birthday Fun

Bottomless Bellinis and Birthday Fun

writer's block and broken lenses
Bottomless brunch flat-lay courtesy of Charley.

So my best friend is now 27. I know she's not really all that bothered about it but she's 27 before me so I can smile a little on the inside. I don't have long to go now and soon I will be joining her *sigh*.

To celebrate the birthday of one of the best people in the whole world, Charlie, Distracted booked us all a table at Bourne and Hollingsworth for their alcohol filled bottomless brunch WEEKS IN ADVANCE. Such a good idea. It's a known fact to me now that any day/evening/ night out with Charlie, Distracted is going to be brilliant., she always seems to know about some of the best places to go whether it's just for a quick pint or a full blown meal. She is essentially my go-to person for food in London. Like an encyclopedia for beer and cake.

She has spoken to me about bottomless brunches before and we have both been wanting to go to one together for a while, what better opportunity than her birthday? A time for the girls (and Ben) to all get together and celebrate everything Charlie. While drunk. Quite drunk.

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Thanks again Charley
With the bottomless brunch at Bourne and Hollingsworth, you are essentially given all the scrambled eggs with your choice of toppings, I went with bacon, mushrooms and salmon, plus your choice of either bottomless Bellinis or Bloody Marys. Personally, I think bBoody Marys taste like cold alcoholic soup and I'm not alone so we went for Bellinis. Hence the title.

Bottomless brunch with Bellinis cost £16 with the additional price of your food. Considering the standard price of a cocktail in London can be around £9, I'm pretty OK with this. Although it may seem expensive when you put the two together, I feel you get your money's worth. There was so much food I couldn't eat it all (see picture above) and I most definitely drank more than £16 worth of booze. #Standard.

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All the booze meant Charley ended up taking a picture of me in the sink/bath. Thank God you can't see my pants

What I was most impressed about was how the service was good but also how they went above and beyond for a member of our party who didn't drink alcohol. They didn't want her to miss out so made some virgin cocktails for her that were still bottomless when usually any other drink wouldn't be. Good staff. Impressed.

We left a very merry, full bunch of people and the usual amount of ridiculously happy pictures were taken as well as all of us doing the Riff Off from Pitch Perfect on the way to the pub... as you do. We're cool, I swear!

Just to give you an insight of just how good our day was here's my new favourite picture ever that I have ruthlessly stolen from Little Miss Katy and have even made it my profile picture on Facebook. That's serious friendship right there. I love these girls so much and we just look too damn happy it's unreal.

Hope you had a wonderful birthday Charlie and I hope we weren't too embarrassing...

War Horse on stage

War Horse on stage

Writer's Block and Broken Lenses

I was first introduced to Michael Morpurgo when I was in primary school and we read a book called Why the Whales Came. It's a book that has always stayed with me and lead to my love for Narwhals. I was a little late to the game when it came to War Horse and only read it after I had seen the film which is very unlike me. I remember not only breaking down in the cinema while watching it but also having an emotional breakdown on the tube while I, a grown woman, was reading a children's book. I got a lot of funny looks that day.

Michael Morpurgo has a talent to introduce young-ish children to rather grown up concepts. Delving into the ins and outs of the First and Second World War but still bringing in an element of fantasy and hope to help the reader not only respect the situation and time period but also to know the world isn't always bad. Smal children risking their safety along with the village to save beached whales despite bombings across the country and a teenager going to the trenches to find his horse.

I've heard so many wonderful things about the play and have wanted to see it for years now. Last week my boyfriend finally took me to see it to celebrate our two year anniversary and it was just as wonderful as I expected.

I remember years ago my Grampy told me Northern Lights was on stage and all the Deamons were puppets and I didn't understand how it would work. Apparently it is a thing and it does work. There were times during the show when I genuinely forgot the horses weren't real as they had the movements and sounds down to a tee.

As you can expect, just like when I went to see To Kill a Mockingbird, I spent pretty much the whole of the second half in floods of tears. As we were sitting in the front row, we saw they had also made mini trenches with bits of the horse puppets, boots and what looked like a body at the front of the stage which somehow made it feel more real. I know it wasn't but I'm sure you know whay I mean.

Also, Gary cried too. So there.

A simple set made the whole show more moving and also meant you could focus more on the cast (brilliant cast too) rather than too many props and scene changes. Being in the front row also meant we could see every emotion no matter how small.

All in all, it was absolutely wonderful despite being emotionally traumatic. I'm so happy I got to see it at last especially as it's now in its last run and will be ending early next year. Grab tickets while you still can