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.


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

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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

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

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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

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

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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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

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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

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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 

Tacos, Burritos and Bloggers

This was one of those experiences that I flat out couldn't say 'no' to. A bunch of my favourite bloggers and I were invited to do our bit for not only the environment but also for Tortilla, who brough the beach to London for one night only. We were tasked with simply drinking as many coronas as we could to help them make more of their chandeleirs for new branch opening across the UK. Obviously this wasn't an endorsement to binge drink but hey, we were doing out bit for the planet. RECYCLE PEOPLE.

I have never been one to turn down mexican food since Charlie, Distracted first introduced me to it via her Wahaca cookbook and burritos are my favourite lunchtime thang... when I feel like all the carbs. As a reward for us helping them drink all the beer, Tortilla made sure we were well fed throughout the evening. Some might say 'eating is cheating' but when mexican food is so readily available, those people need to reasses their priorities. While stuffing our faces we were constantly entertained by Bloody Hell Brennan insisting on eating the spicest stuff (much to the amusement of one of the waiters) and were surpised with Margaritas.

All in all, Tortilla put on an amazing evening of food, booze and frivolity that could have only been made better by some of my favourite people in the world.

From left to right:
Erica, Charley, Vikki. Katie, Charlie and the other Katie in the middle

We all went home with very full bellies and smiles plastered to our faces. Thank you Tortilla for giving us a much needed amazing evening. We love you.

Bugsy Malone at the Lyric Theatre

Image source

"Everybody loves that man, Bugsy Malone..."

Earlier this week, I told you all about my family adventures in London. One of the reasons this happened was because my brother and I bought the family tickets to go at see Bugsy Malone at the Lyric for my mum's birthday. Not only because it's had five star reviews all over the joint but also because it's something my brother and I have grown up with and whenever I watch it with my mum, we always sing along to all the songs.

The Lyric Theatre has undergone a massive redevelopment, starting in 2004 with the final phase being unveiled earlier in 2015, and Bugsy Malone is one of the first plays to grace the 120 year old stage in a bloody long time.

The theatre looks very unassuming from the outside, when we arrived my mum turned to me and said 'ooh, I don't think I have ever been to a mondern theatre in London before' and I had to admit, I couldn't help but feel a tad disappointed. I'm so used to the grandeur of London theatres that the sad, grey exterior made my heart sink a little bit. Inside it's entirely different. The odd mix of modern architecture with the original 1895 theatre nestled deep inside made it truly wonderful.

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Theatre = difficult lighting

Back to the play.

If you haven't seen the Bugsy Malone movie before you really need to. Even if you're not a musical lover like I am, you'll love it because it's funny AF. Full of tongue in cheek jokes that you probably wouldn't have noticed as a child.

Set in prohibition era New York, Bugsy Malone  is the story of part-time gangster Bugsy in the middle of a cross gang power war - with cream pies and splurge guns. Yes, it's as ridiculous as it sounds, yes it's awesome because of it.

During the days counting down to seeing it, I was a tad worried that it wouldn't live up to my expectations and, despite the amazing reviews it had receieved, it would be far from on parr with the film. As I seem to be with these things I was proven wrong.

Bugsy Malone really deserved it's five star reviews. The young cast were so amazing that I always started to question who my favourite was, they didn't tarnish my favourites from the film and I couldn't get over the talent of those kids. Kind of made me question what I have achieved with my life... not really, but you get my point.

One thing I didn't know was that the Lyric Theatre supports young people through drama, helping to take kids off the streets and express themselves through performances rather than getting tangled up in nasty things. Not only does the price of your ticket (actually really cheap) contribute to funding this but there are also collections around the theatre. For this reason alone, I will definitely be returning to the Lyric. You can see where all the money is being used and how happy it makes those kids. By giving such a flawless performance of one of my favourite films, it was worth every penny.

Annoyingly the run of Bugsy Malone has now ended but you can see all the current and upcoming shows on the Lyric website, Tippint the Velvet is actually next on my list.

*Listens to Bugsy Malone soundtrack for the rest of the day*

What plays have you seen recently?

Being a tourist in London

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View of the Tower Bridge FROM A BOAT!
I know I've mentioned it before but I have lived in London for eight years now, very nearly nine! (oh God, I'm aging...) There are times when I take this wonderful city for granted and still haven't explored most of it. Sometimes it's surprising how many things you'll find even if you just take a slightly different way to work, I recently just found out there's a little vintage market near Angel station!

Just like most people who live in London, I get really annoyed by tourists. I hate how they just stop in the street to take pictures of something as mediocre as a post box because it's SLIGHTLY different from at home, how they walk reeeeally slowly then suddently turn around and get really annoyed with you when you end up face-planting their chest. MOST IMPORTANTLY! I hate how they wear huge backpacks on the tube which not only take up the space of a small child (or someone my size) but also get stuck in the tube doors as they rush on at the last minute because, heaven forbid, there isn't another one in three minutes. God, I'm bitter.

Last month Gary and I had our relatives visit from Scotland and we got to be tourists TWICE. I hope I wasn't one of the annoying tourists I have just bitched and moaned about. That would be awkward.

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On both occasions we started off our tourist activities at Westminster Pier, this was particularly important for my mum's boyfriend as he's Scottish and very into his politics, I don't believe he has ever been to Westminster before and he looked so happy. On the other occasion we got on a boat and started boozing as soon as we sat down... so different.

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Drinking wine on a boat!

Both tourist days involved a lot of walking, one from Westminster to Leicester Square with lots of landmark spotting along the way with an oppotunity to get a new family photo taken outside Buckingham Palace.

From left to right:
Emily (brother's girlfriend), ME, Abby (mini step sister), Jarrad (brother), Gary (my boyfriend)

During our adventures across this wonderful city, I got to see and visit a bunch of places that I obviously knew existed but have never been to. I had never been past Downing Street before (THE POLICE HAVE MASSIVE GUNS), never been to the Maritime Museum at Greenwich and I don't think I have been to St James' Park, dude, there are Pelicans.

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Playing dress up at the Maritime Museum
One of my favourite things to do wherever I go is spot and chuckle at interesting graffiti, here are two classics from the South Bank and Greenwich

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Moment of pure genius on a public toilet door

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Another moment of pure genius in another public toilet
Despite all my typical Londoner complaining, being a tourist in London is actually loads of fun. There's obviously so much more I need to see and do but I'm pretty sure it's impossible to do it all. BUT I CAN TRY.

Do you have any favourite places in London I should see?