The new Laura Oakes launch with Debenhams

Other than books and shoes, there's nothing that excites me more than homeware. It's a little bit strange but I have Pinterest boards full of interior design ideas that I could never afford to do and I have frequently considered buying Good Housekeeping... and there's nothing wrong with that.

The Laura Oakes collection at Debenhams is pretty much everything I love; bright florals and even a jungle vibe for some pieces. Perfect as I live in a rented flat and can't really decorate so they'd go perfectly with a neutral home.

Just look at all the colours
The range consisted of soft furnishings, lamps and a whole plethora of other accessories, there wasn't a single thing I didn't like and for some of the pieces I was thinking of how I would use them and where I would put them.

The dish below for example would brighten up my dresser and would be the perfect thing to put all my watches proudly on display.

 And the mirror and candles below would make my bog standard Ikea furniture (that you see in pretty much every rented home) more of a pampering paradise. And it's beautiful.

Obviously, I have admired many homeware ranges but I found this collection pretty unique, the tiniest details have gone into the pieces and the cushions look more like a water colour work of art. I probably wouldn't want anyone to sit on it.

POP UP ART! My favourite thing!
I spent forever tyring to get a picture of this chair! 

 At the event itself, it was a perfect opportunity to finally meet some of the bloggers I follow and talk to on a regular basis. There were cocktails flowing that were created specifically for the launch, a treasure hunt and an opportunity to create your own Laura Oakes-esque scrap books. I missed out on this last bit though!

Both cocktails were delicious
If you're like me and are dreaming of owning at least one Laura Oakes piece, keep an eye on the Debenhams website.

What do you think of the collection? Let me know in the comments!

*I was invited to attend this event but all opinions are my own and completely unbiased.

The TMI tag

Birthday present - Has no relevance to the post but it needed more pictures!
I do love a good tag! They're a great way of getting to know more about your favourite bloggers and although I don't do every one I have been tagged in, I always do the interesting ones.

This morning I was tagged by That Gent Mark to do the TMI tag and it was a little intense. He says there were 50 questions (although he missed out two :-p) so I've had to put together 48 answers very quickly and it was a lot more difficult than you might think!

So here we go, try not to judge me.

1. What are you wearing?

I have started a little challenge for the purpose of blogging where I let my boyfriend choose all my outfits for a week. After day one I am currently wearing white jeans (in February) and a cat t-shirt. I decided to add a cardigan and my velvet Irregular Choice loafers though.

2. Ever been in love?


3. Ever had a terrible breakup?

More than one!

4. How tall are you?

4'11". Please don't laugh.

5. How much do you weigh?

Last time I checked it was nearly 7 stone.

6. Any tattoos?

I have seven! Although one is far from complete as it requires funds I do not have but I'm still already planning more?

I have a butterfly on my left shoulder, song lyrics on my hip, stars on my wrist, a tribal thing on my lower back (tramp stamp FTW), Oscar Wilde's 'The Nightingale and the Rose' on my ribs, a sugar skull on the inside of my upper arm and the beginning of my Alice in Wonderland piece which is the Cheshire Cat on the base of my neck. You can see these last three here.

7. Any piercings?

Yup, all up my ears, my tragus and my lip. I very rarely wear earrings though.

8. OTP

Do Amy and Rory from Doctor Who count?

Image Source: Google Images

9. Favourite show?

At the moments it's possibly a toss up between Game of Thrones and RuPaul's Drag Race although I can watch Black Books, Spaced and Green Wing repeatedly without getting bored of it.

10. Favourite Bands?

Nine Inch Nails, AFI and Dresden Dolls (or Amanda Palmer as a whole). Didn't even need to think about that.

11. Something you miss?

Being in an Orchestra. I keep saying I'll join another one but I'm nowhere near as good as I used to be and am scared people will think I'm rubbish and take the Michael.

12. What's your Zodiac Sign?

I'm a Scorpio. Apparently this means I'm very loyal but have a short temper and can definitely hold a grudge. Oddly accurate...

13. What's a quality you look for in a partner?

Definitely humour and loyalty. I know this second one is a little hard to spot but I've had my heart broken too many times.

14. What's your favourite quote?

"Never love someone who treats you like you're ordinary" - totally true, why should I let myself believe you're special and important when it's not returned?

15. Who's your favourite actor?

My current favourites are Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch. Both are spectacular AND hot. However, I have love Vivien Leigh for as long as I can remember.

16. What's your favourite colour?

"Blue... no... aaaaargh!"

Actually it's purple but I wear blue alot.

17. Loud music or soft?

More often than not it's definitely LOUD

18. Where do you go when you're sad?

This depends on the level of sad and whether there's anyone around. Usually if I'm sad I'll either cuddle Gary or go and see Charlie. If I'm so sad I can't cope I'll curl up in a ball in a corner somewhere and read.

19. How long does it take you to shower?

On average about 15-20 minutes but I could happily be in there for about half an hour.

20. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

Well, this all depends on whether I wake up (I'm not very good at this) and how long I take in the shower. During the week It's probably about 40 minutes once I've braved leaving my duvet burrito.

21. Ever been in a fight?

More than one! I was bullied at school so have taken my fair share of punches and slaps.

22. Turn on?

Humour and kindness

23. Turn off?

Bad grammar, double negatives, not reading and generally being mean.

24. The reason I started blogging?

It started out as my journey looking for a job in the film industry after I had graduated from university. That totally didn't happen so it evolved to what it is today/

25. What are your fears?

Beans, majority if insects, spiders, THE DARK and being alone. There are loads more but these are the main ones.

26. What's the last thing that made you cry?

Last night Gary made me watch a video showing all of Harry Potter from pretty much Snape's story line. It was emotionally traumatising. I LOVE YOU SNAPE!

Sobs uncontrollably onto desk

27. When's last time you said 'I love you'?

This morning before we both went to work. I always make a point of saying 'I love you' before you part ways with important people even if you're pissed off. You never know what could happen but if something were to happen then at least you know the last thing you said was 'I love you'. I get this off my mum.

28. What's the meaning behind your blog name?

This is another film thing to represent how many obstacles you can go through before you get a job in the industry. It's not really relevant now and have been thinking of changing it.

29. What's the last book you read?

Dreams and Shadows. It wasn't that great and I wrote a mini review here.

30. What are you currently reading?

I haven't picked anything else up yet as I have rediscovered my Nintendo DS and am busy playing Zelda: Spirit Tracks.

31. What's the last show you watched?

Gary's got me obsessed with the News Room. It's awesome.

32. Who's the last person you talked to?

My colleague about nail art.

33. The relationship between you and the last person you text?

My best friend.

Charlie and I after our Christmas movie all nighter!

34. What's your favourite food?

I have no idea! I eat curry a lot...

35. Place you want to visit?

There are so many but I have wanted to go to Japan for years.

36. Where's the last place you visited?

Well, I'm at work at the moment but if these means the last place you went on holiday then it's the Falkland Islands in 2012 and Barcelona in 2009-ish. I need a holiday.

I took this when I was in the Falklands - how cool is that?

37. Do you have a crush?

I'm in a very happy relationship right now so only celebrity crushes. Trent Reznor and Benedict Cumberbatch are top of the list.

38. Last time you kissed someone?

This morning before we both went to work.

39. Last time you were insulted?

If this is genuinely insulted then it was two weeks ago. On the mockery side of things then it happens regularly and was probably yesterday.

40. What's your favourite flavour of sweet?

Anything apple! Except Jelly Beans. They're wrong.

41. What instruments do you play? 

A couple but they're much neglected. I play the trumpet, piano, bass guitar and the ukulele. I've played the trumpet since I was nine.

42. What's your favourite piece of jewellery?

My Beauty and the Beast watch Gary got me for my birthday. I also adore my antique pocket watch my dad got me for my 21st but it needs to be repaired. I like watches :-)


43. What's the last sport you played?

HA! That's hilarious. If video games count then it's definitely trying to defeat that bloody giant chicken thing in Zelda.

44. What's the last song you sang?

I was singing along to the Eve of War from the War of the Worlds on my way into work this morning.

45. What's your favourite chat up line?

I have absolutely no idea!

46. Have you ever used it?

I don't think I have ever used a chat up line in my life.

47. When was the last time you hung out with someone?

Other than Gary it was Aymie from Aymie Louise on Sunday. I introduced her to British comedy :-D

48. Who should answer these questions next?

I nominate:

Charlie from Charlie, Distracted
Aymie from Aymie Louise
Lix from A Classic Notion
Katy from Little Miss Katy

And whoever else wants to... It is a lot of questions after all!

What I've been reading: Dreams and Shadows

I love books. I love fantasy books especially and pretty much anything that has Neil Gaiman's name on it. This book is described on Goodreads as 'A brilliantly crafted modern tale from acclaimed film critic and screen writer C. Robert Cargill -part Neil Gaiman, part Guillermo Del Toro, Part William S. Burroughs - that charts the lives of two boys from their star-crossed childhood in the real of magic and mystery to their anguished childhoods'. 

Sounds amazing right? I thought so too.

Image Source: Google Images
For me there's nothing worse than losing all interest in a book, it's very rare for me to not finish one and I was so excited about reading this after I picked it up when I went a little over the top in Foyles with Charlie, Distracted.

Image Source: Google Images
The book started out really well, it was dark and twisted and flicked between narratives but it really didn't take long for me to get bored and eventually give up. I can't pin-point exactly what put me off about it if I'm being completely honest, I just didn't click with it.

You might be different though so let me know if you enjoy it!

Keep up to date on my latest book adventures and follow me on Goodreads.

Jack the Ripper Walking Tour

I have lived in London for eight years (oh God) and there are so many things I need to do to make sure that I stay in love with this city and discover more about it. In my 'New Years Resolutions' type post, I mentioned how I wanted to take advantage of the city more and was so happy when I was invited to the Jack the Ripper Walk.

I went to university in Whitechapel so it's not like I never had the chance to do this and used to walk past the meet ups basically everyday after evening lectures. I never really had an excuse so when I was offered the chance to go, I obviously said 'yes'.

Jack the Ripper Walking Tour London
Image Source: +xo_clairelouise 
We met outside Whitechapel Art Gallery (which just so happens to be one of my favourite buildings in London) then were lead down the familiar and some unfamiliar streets of the East End, following the steps and stories of Jack the Ripper himself.

With the aid of a very clever pocket projector, our guide truly immersed us in the tale. He was so charismatic and spoke with such passion and didn't miss out any detail, no matter how gory.

Jack the Ripper Walking Tour London
Image Source - Madeleine Miranda

As I'm sure most of you have, I had already seen a lot of the sketches and read a lot of accounts of the tale (plus there's that film with Johnny Depp) but I wasn't prepared for the more intense kind of autopsy images that flashed before us from that clever adaptor and copies of the letters sent in blood red ink (apparently from the man himself). It really makes you realise that this wasn't a twisted fairy tale, it actually happened.

Jack the Ripper Walking Tour London
Image Source - Working Mum Blog
Jack the Ripper Walking Tour London
Image Source - Working Mum Blog 
Even though I was thoroughly grossed out for the latter parts, this was a wonderful experience and I am so happy I got to go at last. Plus London is absolutely beautiful at night.

Gherkin London
Image Source - Madeleine Miranda
If you'd like to experience this for yourself you can book tickets here.

Many thanks to Madeleine Miranda and Working Mum Blog for sharing their photos with me as I was stupid enough to forget my camera.

*I was invited to attend this for free but all opinions are my own and completely unbiased

Dates with Charlie: All the cheese and wine at Androuet

General life appears to have got in the way and what with that whole Christmas thing, it's been a while since I've been able to spend time with Charlie, Distracted and it was time to sort it out.

Charlie and I both LOVE our food and we're both completely obsessed with cheese. When we lived together there was more than one occasion where a cheeseboard totally counted as dinner and I'm sure loads of you would agree.

I'm always trying to try new food and find new places to go to in London so when Charlie suggested Fondu and Androuet, there was no way in hell I was going to say no. Despite living in London for so long, I have only been to Spitalfields Market a couple of times and I had no idea you could go somewhere specifically for Fondu. Who'da thunk it?

Not only was it all delicious (including that meat board), it was really cozy with a lovely atmosphere. There were little blankets and heaters to keep you warm as we were sitting in the bar outside, the staff were lovely and there was definitely more than enough to share.

They serve lots of different options but we went for their standard fondu with emmental, as neither of us like blue cheese, with Speck and Saucisson, plus an amazing bottle of wine.

I'd recommend it for every foodie and cheese lover out there. If you're not one for trying new things, this is definitely something to get you started.

Have you ever been here before and what did you think?

Passport Planning 2015

I am always moaning about how I haven't had a proper beach/sun holiday for 5 years. I'm always seeing friends and family gallivanting around the globe and having adventures that I've actually started to get a bit jealous.

Gary and I are already planning at least one holiday together this year but there are so many things I want to do and see I feel a little overwhelmed about where to start. After a bit of thinking, here are my top 5 options. Some affordable, some not; some close, some far.

Gran Canaria

Image source 
My sense of geography really isn't that great and if I'm going to be completely honest, I didn't even know this was a place until my dad went on holiday there not too long ago. How can you not want to go here when you see that sea and that sky?

Ascension Island
Image Source: Google Images
Source Google Images
Probably not the top of everyone's list but I stopped off here on my way to the Falkland Islands (yes, I went there) and it was amazingly hot and even from the airbase where you weren't allowed cameras you could see how beautiful it was. A volcanic island off the coast of Africa with turtles. Of course I want to go there!

Getting there will take some working out though as last time I flew with the RAF!


I've been to Paris before and I would LOVE to go back there especially since there are so many things I want to do there. It's practically down the road and will make a perfect little weekend getaway for me and the boy. Plus, you know, Disney Land.

Source: Google Images
Me at Disney Land about 6 years ago!


I have a friend who lives in Vienna and I know a couple of people who have gone. Technically I have visited it (purely to stop and put my hand on the floor while driving to Italy...) but I have never really experienced it. I mainly want to go to see the architecture and Christmas markets so this could potentially be something to save up for!

Source: Google Images


So, my family has Greek roots! I have never been there but have always been fascinated by the history and culture. It would be amazing to see where part of my family came from, chill on a beach and be a proper tourist. 

Source here
My passport planning list also includes Japan, Hong Kong and South Africa but you have to start somewhere and I really want to add more stamps to my passport before it expires!

Are you planning any holidays this year?

2014 in clothes!

I'm hoping that 2014 was the start of me having my own style. Although it's still a bit eclectic I'm more aware of what works and what I should avoid. To be honest, it's pretty much all dresses as I only wear jeans on lazy days!

Here are a bunch of my favourite outfits and styles from 2014!

1. Pastels

I am very pale and have finally worked out that pastels suit my skin tone a lot more than darker ones (although I do still wear them) so when I have an exciting event to go to I'll generally wear pastels so I don't have too much of a 'death' look going on.

2. Bold patterns

For years I have tried to avoid bold patterns because I feared they would make me look even shorter. This year however I decided to just bite the bullet and try them, especially with the right pair of shoes.

The only thing I don't like about this outfit is my hair. Maybe I should make a new year's resolution to make sure I get it cut regularly!

3. Florals

Let's face it, florals are pretty much a wardrobe staple, especially in Spring. I have fallen in love with them this year and my collection is steadily growing, whether it's massive print or a smaller more discreet look. This is my favourite floral dress and I wore it to yet another wedding! Perfick.

4. Scarves

When you work in and office and always get cold (like me) it's difficult to battle the constant fight over the air-con. Scarves are the best way to stay warm and still look awesome. I have always loved scarves but have been finding more ways of wearing them to either enhance an outfit or dominate it. Here's one of my 'off to work' looks from earlier in the year

5. Statement bags

I've never been really a 'bag girl'. Most of my money has generally gone on shoes or dresses. However, this year has seen a serious growth in my love of them. I've started rocking lunchboxes as bags (see image 2) and now have a variety of clutches and every day bags. Here's my favourite purchase of 2014, a quite indulgent Ted Baker bag. I justify the price by using it as often as possible! (plus, it's back to the 'bold patterns' and 'floral' themes!)

Do you have any favourite looks from 2014? Tell me about them in the comments!

Off to the theatre: Ghost Stories

Gary seems to have started this trend where at Christmas he gets me tickets to see something that's going to absolutely terrify me. Last year it was the Woman in Black (blog post here) and this year it's Ghost Stories. He probably only does it because it'll be more like a comedy for him - watching me that is.

Throughout the day he had been winding me up and constantly asking me if I felt scared. It wasn't until we arrived that I started to fill with dread!

It has been a given ever since I was little that you dress up for the theatre so it was the same here. We may have not been going to the fanciest theatre in the world but there is never a moment where sequins aren't appropriate.

Bell rang as taking photo so excuse awkward face

When we arrived I was surprise at how cosy the lobby was, full of comfy armchairs, mirrors and pretty wallpaper, if it wasn't for the eerie music and smell of dry ice coming from the theatre I would have been very happy to just chill out here. Going in to see the show was an entirely different matter.

Along with the creepy music, it was like the theatre went out of their way to make everyone in their audience feel uneasy before they went in. I even jumped when I passed a plastic mannequin as I turned a corner! 

The whole place was decorated with kind of construction tape, plastic and creepy yellow lights that you'd expect to see on a construction site that gave the whole theatre a surreal orange glow.

I'm not going to ruin the play for you as you need to see it if you're not a massive wuss but I can tell you the following things and how I felt about them:
  • It's dark - I am scared of the dark
  • There are a lot of loud noises - I'm scared of loud noises
  • They used a lot of the senses - including smell, it freaked me out a little and made you feel like you were IN the action
  • Intense - I was scared
  • No interval - I couldn't escape and had to deal with my fear constantly
  • It's scary
  • It's dark - I'm scared of the dark 
I think it's clear from the above that I wasn't exactly comfortable throughout the show, I had to fight back tears and at one point I had covered my ears screaming 'I DON'T LIKE IT!' into my boyfriend's shoulder. It was fantastic though even if I did have to sleep with fairy lights on afterwards...

What's the last play you went to see?

Oh, hello 2015!

That came around a little too quickly! 2014 was pretty good to be honest and I can deinitely say that 2012 and 2013 were the worst years of my life, especially in comparison. But now there's a whole new year happening and although not everything in the world is going to change just because the calendar has, I know that my 2015 is going to be awesome.

2014 was pretty good!
Everyone's going to be making new year's resolutions, right? And we all know most people (including me!) probably won't stick to them. That's why I'm going to pick three key things that are hopefully achievable and with the help of my lovely boyfriend I should be able to see the difference by this time next year.

Save money

Definitely one that's on everyone's list but there are so many things I want to do but my bank account has never let me. I haven't had a holiday for over 5 years and am in desperate need of one, I need to try and reach the end of the month without spending ALL my money and I currently have a savings account that's gathering dust.

Saving money isn't something that's purely going to rely on me shopping less but also little things like not getting a takeaway every Friday or buying lunch. Maybe I can even cut down and have only one shop bought latte a day, those £3 will definitely make a difference and can go towards a holiday where I can do nothing but lie on a beach and attempt to get a tan.

Cook more

I cook every week but unlike a good friend of mine, I'm not exactly very experimental. There's loads of food I love but have never tried cooking myself and now I have a beautiful new slow cooker it's not like I have any excuses! I'm thinking pulled pork wahaca style is going to be my first challenge!

Learning something new last year
Always new flavours to be explored
Exprience London

I have lived in London for 8 years now and there are still so many things I haven't done and a lot of them free. It could be something little like sitting on Primrose Hill and having a picnic or going to Greenwich and watching the Guy Fawkes Night Fireworks from the hill outside the observatory. Truly appreciating the city you live in doesn't need to cost a lot of money and it's about time I got myself into gear and did it.

That time I spent an afternoon in a cat cafe
Visit more art galleries and museums. They're free!
What are your plans for 2015?

I need to make it to Pay Day

Everyone hates January, it's a good 5 week gap between pay days and we're all trying to battle through after the Christmas splurge. I just looked at my bank account and I clearly went a little overboard on gifts this year... This was my reaction.

Payday gif photo test_zpsvrnwf8la.gif

However, it's not like this is a situation that's new to me, I've made it through before and I can do it again... I hope.

Here's how I plan on surviving the post-festive period:

Weekly shop

Yes, it's convenient to just pop down to your local shop to pick up last minute bits and bobs for dinner but it's a lot more cost effective to get it all in one go. for example, rather than spending £6 on 500g chicken you can get 3 packs for £10! Gary and I do our shop from Asda and, if you live in London, they do this amazing thing where you can collect your shopping from the Tube station. You can just pick it up after work and get ready to start cooking straight away, just remember to take a rucksack.

Another benefit of this is that if there's something you don't use, (e.g buying more meat in the promotion than you need) you can just throw it in the freezer for next week and spend less money.

Cook everyday

I love takeaway and I love going out for dinner but right now it's really not affordable, it's barely affordable for me throughout the rest of the year! One of my New Years Resolutions is to be more experimental with my food so I'll be trying out a bunch of new recipes. 

It's so much cheaper to cook everything from scratch too, if I'm having a really poor day I'll make a chickpea curry. Chickpeas are 30p a can and it's much nicer than that 89p pizza from Iceland. (Recipe here
Source: My boyfriend's blog

Stop buying lunch

Again, this is a matter of fighting over convenience. Sainsbury's is around the corner from my office and I do occasionally run down for a meal deal. It may only be £3 but those £3 do add up. Cooking everyday will help with this because then you have the delight of a delicious left overs lunch rather than the last rather looking sad sandwich after the lunchtime rush.

Another cheap eat - Chinese Chicken Curry
Source: My Boyfriend's blog

Do you really need that Starbucks?

In the morning, there's nothing worse than being cold and for me the remedy is usually to run to Starbucks either on my way to the office or on my lunch break. It's an unnecessary expense that I need to cut down on. Instead I have a beautiful thermos that I can just fill up before I head out the door (especially now I have a sexy new coffee machine!).

Avoid the sales like the plague

Last year I indulged in the sales and this year, as much as my Ted Baker gift card is taunting me, I will avoid them for as long as physically possible! 

Cinema date? Nah thanks, I have Netflix

There's nothing better than staying at home in a onesie and binge - watching. Not going out means no money spent. If you don't have Netflix, there's always scrabble...


Do you have any survival tips for January? let me know in the comments!

Christmas haul

Now I'm finally back home, I get to show off my Christmas presents! I got so many things I don't know where to start and since I didn't really ask for anything there were lots of surprises.

I mainly got a lot of new kitchen stuff as I'm an old lady now and probably spend more time in the kitchen than any other room in the house and it was nice to know that when my cousin came to stay she made note of all the little things I needed. Weird how you can get excited over a water filter...

Said water filter
New coffee machine! Best thing to ever happen.
New kettle!

New slow cooker so I can feed more then one person at a time after having a 1.5L one for years.

Coffee machine accessories and yes, those are TARDIS salt and pepper pots

Non kitchen collection including my Irregular Choice shoes from Gary and a sewing book for new projects from Charlie, Distracted. Plus TED BAKER VOUCHER!

New bling, a little treble clef!

Along with all of this amazing stuff, I also got tickets to see Ghost Stories on Wednesday, I will inevitably be so scared I'll probably cry... Look forward to a blog post later...

 What did you get for Christmas?

Mood Blanket 2015

A couple of years ago I taught myself how to crochet, annoyingly I have a couple of projects left unfinished because I always seem to get distracted by other things. This year will be different (I swear) and I'll get things finished!

We had a health issue in the family this year and when I found the Mood Blanket idea on another blog and told the other fellow crafty people in my family about it, we all decided to do one so we can all compare our years and health by the end of 2015. For my health, I'll be tracking how many seizures I've had over the year because if I can go for a year without one I'll be allowed to learn how to drive!

To make a Mood Blanket you crochet/knit/quilt (whatever you want) a different square each day depending on what mood you're in with corresponding colours. My colours are:

Teal = tired/ill
Red = angry
Pink = happy
Blue = sad
Gold = seizure 

For day one I'm still feeling the affects of alcohol so I'm clearly tired with a headache so that means teal! I've gone for a 9x9 granny square and will be binding all of them together using ivory. 

As I'm still getting back into the swing of crochet, this took me a couple of hours, mainly because it wasn't neat enough so I ended up getting annoyed and starting again more than once! But square one is done now and I hope to get faster and better at it as the year goes on.

Are you doing any crafty projects this year?