Things I am bad at: Blogging and non blogging related

There have been a lot of posts going around recently that have bugged me. Things like 'Blogging Tips' are making the rounds again as well as things like 'how to take the perfect outfit photos' and to me, maybe only to me, it seems like these things give bloggers an air of perfection that can occasionally be unrealistic. How only their way is the right way. Again, this could only be me reading too much into things, but it also seems as though bloggers must maintain this air of unachievable perfection to maintain their 'influencer' status in their strive to become the next Zoella.

I am not one of these people.

I work in social media but I blog for a hobby and after seeing things like this go around on a constant basis, I thought it would be fun to show the Internet that even though I am a blogger, I am far from perfect not matter what. As is my life despite all the glam and perks that come with being a blogger

Even though I tend to write about the exciting things I get up to, I am far from perfect and there's absolutely no shame about it and no need to hide behind a computer and pretend it's all coming up daisies everyday, especially since I am not telling you about how I tend to have two hour afternoon naps and eat three ice lollies in one go in my onesie, I'M A BLOGGER GOD DAMN IT AND WILL ONLY TALK ABOUT THE AMAZING THINGS.

In a nutshell, this post is pretty much an overview and showing you not only the things I am bad at but all of the ridiculous things that other people won't admit in their internet lives. Partly just for fun but also to demonstrate that there is also no harm in admitting flaws, no matter what they may be.

1. Blogging

Attempt at being organise with a blogging notebook. #Fail

Not in the sense of writing but actually doing it. A lot of these 'blogging tips' posts go on about how you have to blog twice a week because otherwise the world will explode and you don't really count as a dedicated blogger. This is a load of bull.

I struggle to find the time to write up all the drafts I have going on at any one time or actually do things with the photos I have taken but this certainly does not mean I am not dedicated nor am I a failure as a blogger. IT IS A HOBBY. When I have the time, I write and it goes down well. I always maintain regular visitors even if I haven't written for weeks and I get new followers every day. This makes me proud and shows that the world will not end in a fiery ball of death if you don't get those two posts written every week.

2. Photos

Not necessarily the taking of them, more like the being in them. Even as a child I was told I couldn't smile and I think that has kind of reflected in my general photo awkwardness so I only look half decent in pictures when I'm either dancing or drunk. Being a blogger it's difficult for me to want to talk about my outfits without comparing myself to fashion bloggers who manage to pull of the 'stare far into the distance' look whereas when I try it I just look constipated. It's reached the point now where I honestly don't give AF. If the outfit looks good then who cares? We're talking about clothes here and not my face.

Example of my twattish photo face.

3.  Buttons

Not blogging related at all but also not really life related. Seriously, who the hell can struggle over the concept of buttons? Oh, that would be me... I don't even know why

4. Maths

This one speaks for itself really and isn't exactly abnormal

5.  Getting up in the morning

I'm sure I never used to be as bad as this as I am now. Before I had to take daily medication I would wake up, albeit unwillingly, and get on with my day. Now however it's like that clip in Pans Labyrinth when she wakes up the monster although the waking up process usually involves my boyfriend throwing off the covers and opening the windows so I lie there like teenager trying to bat the sun away with my hands. I need to sort it out really

6. Saying no

This can be blogging related as well as general life. I've always struggled to say no and I've found that I have to say it more often than I like especially when PRs contact me. Every time I have to say no I feel guilty especially if it's to a PR because I am essentially one myself and I know how much it sucks.

Outside of the blogging world, saying no is equally as hard and I always end up either taking on more work or doing more things so I don't have time to sit. I do appreciate a good sit and I do need more sitting time.

But it's OK! You don't need to take every opportunity that comes your way if they aren't screaming your name or you don't have time. There will be others, I promise.

7. Paying attention

This is my boyfriend's pet peeve. I like to think I'm good at multi-tasking but that's a complete lie. If I'm trying to do more things than once I have a tendency to leave sentences unfinished or say 'what/pardon me' at least three times before I can grasp what the hell is going on around me.

8. Doing things in general... Procrastination, innit

Yeah... again, this is a common problem the world over but I seem to excel at it on an amazing scale. Whether it's little things having a shower before bed so I don't have to rush in the morning, rehearsing my music or even making dinner I more often than not end up on the black whole of the Internet that is Reddit or binge watch a TV programme on Netflix. It then means that 'OK, I'll do it in a minute' ends up taking hours. On a larger scale, I'm still in February of my Mood Blanket... pretty damn far behind.

9.  Doing the washing

As a blogger this is seriously the bane of my life. If there's an event coming up I try to plan my outfits but then realise that the thing I want to wear and is perfect for this occasional in particular is currently at the bottom of a washing pile. As a result I tend to just throw on a pair of jeans and a band t-shirt but again, it's OK. I'm comfortable god damn it and I will wash that dress when I get home so it's ready for the next time. But this could always lead back to number 8 if I'm not careful.

10.  Remembering... pretty much anything

My memory is awful, and my attempt at keeping my life in order (I.e, my diary) just doesn't seem to help. I now rely on Gary if people want to make plans because I never know what the hell is happening whereas he's really organised and knows more about my social life than I do.

So there we go, only a fraction of the many, many things I am bad at and linking back to my main point; it just goes to show that bloggers aren't perfect and it doesn't matter. You don't need to follow 'blogging tips' as though they're a recipe book... thinking about it, you don't always need to follow a recipe. If you want more cinnamon, have more cinnamon and don't let anyone tell you you're doing it wrong. Accept and embrace what you think may be a flaw and just roll with it. Blogging and LIFE is so much more interesting that-a-way.

Lush Oxford Street Store

Lush Oxford Street Store
Image source:
The one problem with Lush is pretty much that I should not be able to go into a store, attended or unattended. I have used their website in the past to get my essentials such as Soak and Float and Ultrabland without a problem. Let me go in a store and I always leave with my purse crying despite how happy my soul may be. Damn you bright colours and glitter.

The new flagship store opened on Oxford Street a few weeks ago and a bunch of my friends have been going on about how amazing it is. It was no word of a lie...

Lush Oxford street store

ONE essential turned out being three bath bombs (one for Gary, may I add), bath oils, glitter and that essential Soak and Float. This is mainly because I'm a sucker for any variety of advertising and when they have 'shows' on the different bath bombs I get all levels of excited and buy them all.

From left onwards:
Soak and Float solid shampoo
Sunnyside - my favourite glittery bubble bar
Oxford Street Exclusive silver bath melt (can't remember the name)
Frozen bath bomb for singing 'Let It Go' loudly in the bath
The Oxford Street exclusive Experimenter bath bomb

Out of all of these things, the Experimenter is one of the most exciting bath products I have bought for a while. I don't even know how to describe it properly, it's made up of loads of different colours and scents plus it makes your bath look like tie die. Honestly, where's bad with this?

Frozen was equally as amazing. I mixed it with a bit of Sunnyside and it ended up looking like a sparkly blue lagoon. I obviously insisted on listening to the Frozen soundtrack while in the bath too. 

I felt like this:


Next came the bath melt. I have never used one of them before and was pretty much convinced to buy one when I picked it up and ended up with glitter all over my hands. As it strange as it sounds it made my bath so lovely and 'soft' (if that makes sense) and when I got out not only was my skin amazingly soft, I was also covered from head to toe in glitter that I rapidly started to shed all over the house. I really recommend them for fellow dry skin sufferers, plus they're just over £2. Bargain.

Gary is yet to use his Experimenter and unless he hurries up soon I'm going to have to take it as I already need to get another Lush fix soon.

What's your favourite Lush product?

Naughty Ghost Tour of London

Cross Bones Graveyard London

I love a good walking tour now, it's something I never would have thought I would enjoy but I have been on a couple now! Previously I have done the Jack the Ripper walking tour and the Sherlock walking tour and they were both all levels of amazing. Even with the exercise.

As I have mentioned and you're all now fully aware, I am a massive wuss but can't seem to stop myself from getting involved with 'scary things' and still insist on watching horror movies. Maybe it's like a whole self destructive thing, either way I can't stop myself so when I was invited to do the Naughty Ghost Tour of London, I automatically said 'yes'.

The tour was organised by Best LDN tours, who arranged the Sherlock one I went on a couple of months ago, so based on previous experience I knew it would be a good night. It was made even better when Charlie, Distracted and I (my go to blogger event buddy) met up with Little Miss Katy and Leanne from Broke in the Big Smoke... It was DEFINITELY going to be a good night, with an inevitable hangover the next day. (Go here for Little Miss Katy's wonderful words of wisdom on how to cure one)

We started off the tour at the Crossbones Graveyard for the Outcast Dead, final resting place for criminals and prostitutes (oh my). To this day people come to the graveyard to leave little memories for those who rest here and to remember those who they have lost.

Our tour guide went out of our way to try and connect us with the supernatural. Using dowsing rods to communicate with those at rest at the Crossbones as multiple sightings have happened over the years. I really didn't wan to use the dowsing rods and got really freaked out when they moved. We also offered the spirits some red wine (sneaky bottle in my bag) but it turns out the spirit we were communicating with preferred Rum... the hashtag #GhostsLikeRedWine (but prefer rum) was born.

Cross Bones Grave Yard London
Speaking to spirits with dowsing rods

Our tour took us down some of the main streets and some of the back streets of the London Bridge/Borough area. We learnt where one of the firsts surgical theatres stood, the history behind the Clink prison and were told stories of the girl who lost her love and her father, joined a nunnery (which then become Southwark Cathedral) and still 'haunts' the area after her death. We played with a Black Mirror to see Spirits (I obviously freaked out) and even learnt some naughty facts. Did you know that the reason there's a little street called Cardinal Cap Alley because a Cardinal spent a moment with a 'lady of the night' and left his cap behind!

Naughty, naughty Cardinal

We visited some of my favourite areas of south London, visited old film locations and even shared some of our most random London facts; They rebuilt the Globe in the wrong place, there's a theatre that predates the Globe, discovered during construction works in the 80s, and how some of the bollards along the river are actually old cannons. Who'da thunk it?

The Golden Hinde Boat
The Golden Hinde - one of my favourite places in London

Pubs on the thames
The Anchor Pub - one of the oldest in London
As can be expected following a meetup with the girls our evening concluded with more red wine and Sangria in a 'cheeky Nandos' where we proceeded to discuss our own 'encounters' and belief in the Spirit World. Whether or not this sounds like your kinda thing, don't be fooled and think it's only about ghosts, it shows a history into our beloved capital that you wouldn't even consider. I recommend it for all because not only is it interesting as hell, the tour guides are wonderful and make the whole thing a funny and enjoyable experience, as can be expected from Best LDN walks.

Have you ever been on a Ghost Tour?

Upcycling with Currys and the Old School Club

Upcycling is something I have wanted to try for ages. I have a couple of pieces of furniture that need a bit of love and I keep seeing people's amazing creations online which always spark inspiration but I really don't have the talent.

This was the second upcycling event Curry's had held with bloggers recently. I was upset when I missed the last one while on holiday.

I had never heard of the Old School Club before and I very rarely go South of the River so I ended up walking past it multiple times. Idiot. Once I was in there though it was like a crafts wonderland, full of beautiful fabric, upcycled furniture, yarn and so much more. Pretty much heaven.

Now, being able to upcycle a washing machine drum is something I would never have thought was possible. I'm not the most techy person so I always thought the drum was attached to the machine for life... Also, what could you possibly make with a washing machine drum? It's not everyday you're presented with a challenge like this but it turns out there are quite a few things you can do with one.

We were all asked to choose between upholstered foot stools, coffee tables or lamps. After thinking about how much stuff I have in my flat, I knew a footstool/table really wouldn't be the best option as I really don't have the space. A lamp it was and I started on my design after a quick look of the materials we had to use.

Oh dear God is my design hilarious. This is seriously the extent of my creative talents.

I mean, come on, what even is that? In my sheer panic to fill up space on the paper I even forgot how to spell 'grey'. *face palm*

If you can't see from my oh so very detailed plans, I aimed to make a table lamp. Lord knows why as it turns out washing machine drums are huge. Still, I like a challenge and was too stubborn to change my mind.

I wanted to create a mash up of textures and colours and was pointed in the direction of the most wonderful fabrics in the world. I chose a red velvet thing and really entertained myself with a glue gun after many a discussion over how my idea would work. Also, FYI, I shouldn't be allowed to use a glue gun. They're messy.

I went for a clashing colour for the shade itself and chose a colour to match the coffee table it would live on. I really didn't do the neatest job on it. It has random patches and straight lines but it's really the extent of my artistic ability. That and stick men. Oh, and the aforementioned 'design'.

Ahhh, the finished product. I do love it. Although getting it from Battersea to East Finchley was the biggest challenge. I may have done my back in and have to keep my Oyster Card in the top of it so the lovely tube people could let me in and out, but it was totally worth it.

What do you think of my lamp? Beautiful, strange or complete and utter failure?

Things I learnt in Nice

Going on holiday is always an adventure. Even though I had been to the South of France before (many times actually), I love how I'm always amazed by simple things and can learn new things every day you're there.

This isn't one of those posts though! Just an overview of things I have learnt as an adult on pretty much my first grown up holiday. Little things you realise about being 'the foreigner', the tourist who annoys you when you're back home.

1.  Learn a little of the language

I studied French for A-Level. I wasn't very good at it and forgot most of it. However, I spent a couple of weeks prior to the holiday catching up using Apps such as Duolingo and it was surprising how much I remembered. This was extremely helpful while away and my boyfriend's input was pretty much 'bonjour', 'deux' and 'merci'. A lot of people away will speak English but it's always polite to have a go and not be that person who points at things and pretty much shouts what they want. Really. Slowly. 

I was also randomly approached by an old lady who didn't speak English and wanted to have a little conversation. I shocked myself when I managed to hold one! (To be fair, it was pretty much about the weather...)

2. You will not have enough money

Well, you might but you need to budget. And this time your parents can't do it for you. We took enough to get through the holiday and I thought we would have more left than we did. It was a shock when I realised exactly how much we had spent when it came to the last day. We had a wonderful time and didn't run out but we know that for next time we need to be a little more cautious.

3. Most of your money will go on food

This is pretty much a standard really and it wasn't until the last day that we noticed the Carrefour really close to our hotel. Annoyingly that was a Sunday so it was closed for most of the day. We ended up having breakfast in the hotel, thinking it would be the cheapest option as we got a half price discount for flying with British Airways, bought lunch while out, bought beer on the beach, and had dinner out every night. It all adds up! And when you don't really know much about the area a lot of people will tend to go for the easiest option.

For our next holiday we'll definitely be preparing breakfast and lunch with essentials from the local supermarkets as it would save a little more money.

4. Speak to the locals

They know their stuff and you know it. Need suggestions on where to go for food? Ask the bar man/lady serving you, want to find awesome ice cream? Ask the lady selling flowers. These people are a fountain of knowledge and you'll find so much more than what your guide book tells you.

5. Get lost

Although it might seem scary getting lost in a strange place, it's actually kinda wonderful. We didn't really get lost in Nice except for walking down the wrong street occasionally but every second was amazing and you'll never know what you will find. 

Do you have any holiday tips?

A weekend break in Nice (in pictures)

British Airways Flights to Nice

Going on holiday has been something I have been moaning about for a while. I have all the plans in the world for beach breaks, city breaks and adventure holidays (I've ALWAYS wanted to Skydive). I have never had the funds before but now I have a "grown up job" and a boyfriend who also has a "grown up job" and also an eye for a good deal, I finally got to go on a plane and go to another country. I don't think you'll quite understand how exciting this was for me.

After a while of me getting grumpy and lots of 'it'll be too cold' whining whenever poor Gary suggested something, we finally found an amazing deal in Nice and I started counting down the days immediately.

We arrived to early to check in our rooms but the lovely hotel staff let us lock our bags away and we spent our first couple of hours on the beach with holiday beer. which is always the best decision to make when you're on holiday.

We didn't go for the fanciest hotel in the world as we wanted to keep this as budget friendly as possible (didn't really work in the long run...) but it had it's own little quirks. When we could check in we were given different keys so we could go and pick our own room which isn't something you'd get everywhere.

Although it was a given that we would spend the majority of our time attempting to tan on the beach, we still took time to explore. I particularly loved the Old Town where we found the flower market and a place that sells the most amazing Crepes I have ever had. No word of a lie.

Nice is an absolutely beautiful place, even at night. The whole place seems to come to life in a completely different way and I wanted to constantly explore. Sadly there just wasn't enough time and before I knew it, it was time to go home :-(.

We did go about a month ago but due to work and general life I haven't really had the time to rave about it. I'm still not quite over how much fun I had and already cannot wait until the next one!

Joining an Orchestra and getting back into music

Not a lot of people know this but I am a brass player. That's right, a tiny person plays in the loudest part of an orchestra.

I have been playing the Cornet since I was in primary school, for those who don't know (like my boyfriend), it's pretty much the same thing as a Trumpet, just a bit smaller and slightly higher in pitch.

Cornelius - My beautiful Cornet

Playing in an orchestra has always been one of my favourite things. There's nothing better than being involved in something so spectacular as playing a John Williams collection and knowing you're the leading role (erm, Imperial March anyone?). My dad still has a CD of one of my first orchestral performances because it's just so damn good and my neighbours growing up used to come out and listen whenever I sat in the garden practicing.

Since I moved to London, I have fallen completely out of practice. Living in student halls followed by flats in converted houses is a nightmare for any musician, let alone a brass player. Having neighbours on the other side of a very thin wall makes playing a VERY loud instrument difficult. I'd hate to be inconsiderate and as a result I'm so out of practice that I'm not at the standard I used to be. I have been so paranoid about being awful despite numerous reassurances from my boyfriend.

Yesterday I had an email from someone I met at the East Finchley Christmas festival about a local orchestra so a sent an email about places and rehearsals expecting it to be full and being put on a waiting list. I was completely wrong, they were conveniently looking for a Cornet player and had the first rehearsal of term that night. I realised 'bugger, I have been completely put on the spot' and agreed to go.

My new orchestra: Image source

You know what, it was fantastic. I was extremely nervous and paranoid about being around so many great musicians that I felt like a child again but once I got into it I started to feel 'at home' again. Obviously I wasn't fantastic and I still have a lot of practice to do but it feels so good to be back.

Do you play any instruments?

Savage Beauty - The Alexander McQueen Exhibition at the V&A

Savage Beauty V&A

During my teenage years I wasn't interested in fashion and never believed I would be. Never wanting to fit into the 'mainstream' world and didn't want people telling me what I should wear. Over the years this has drastically changed. I follow a variety of fashion bloggers, I read Vogue and I look forward to seeing all the latest trends at Fashion Week every year. I also obviously have a bunch of high end 'classics' that I am constantly lusting over and once I can afford one I will see it as an achievement as well as an investment.

Alexander McQueen is one of the few designers that I am genuinely passionate about. I said to Charlie, Distracted that I sometimes wish I could turn back the clock to see some of his collections first time round. It was only in my second year of university that I started to pay attention and fell in love.

Savage Beauty is the exhibition and celebration of Alexander McQueen's greatest work from the potentially attainable to the absolutely mentally unattainable that you can only stare in complete wonder at. Whether you're a fashion buff or not I strongly believe it's something you should see. Alexander McQueen broke the boundaries of fashion in such a way that he created wearable art. He focused on more than just the dress, it was all about the dress as it moved, a water colour effect rippling through a variety of dimensions.

No. 13 dress Alexander McQueen

Through the exhibition you're also transported to feeling like you're seeing the show itself. From the spinning No. 13 dress created as a paint splatter on a blank canvass to the holographic Kate Moss dress... which we watched TWICE purely because it was so spectacular. Seriously, watch it.

In one room alone, we just sat there for about half an hour (no lie) because I for one was scared to miss anything. Afraid to skip over one of the tiniest details such as the hand painted feathers that made up the butterfly hat...

Alexander McQueen butterfly hat

My favourite part was seeing the Widows of Culloden collection where McQueen embraced his Scottish heritage showcasing the true beauty of Tartan and lace with the contrasting Girl who Lived in the Tree collection on the opposite side of the room which was pure fantasy and splendour.

Alexander McQueen Widows of Culloden

The girl who lived in the tree

I could go on and natter at you like a fan girl over the inspiration for a catwalk show being based on the chess scene in Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone and how it felt to see THAT feather dress in person but to be honest, I really can't do the exhibition justice. Alexander McQueen made fashion more than just an expectation and more than just something that will sell. Just go and see why.

All images have been ruthlessly stolen from Google Images as photography was not allowed.

Grimm Tales at the Oxo Tower

Grimm Tales

When I was in year 7 I was first introduced to the works of Phillip Pullman with my first copy of Northern Lights and have been obsessed ever since.

I have been making more trips to the theatre over the past two years than I have since I moved to London eight years ago but I have never been to an immersive experience before so as cliche as it sounds, I didn't know what to expect. Being thrown into a play rather than sitting at the sidelines was incredible and appears to becoming a bit of a trend in the theatre scene.

Grimm Tales Oxo Tower

Grimm Tales Oxo Tower

Held in the Bargehouse just behind the Oxo Tower, Grimm Tales made me jump from the moment we walked in. A given really considering I don't like the dark or random loud noises. Wimp. You automatically feel transported into another world as a result, combined with a self playing piano and random constructions out of random pieces of furniture.

Grimm Tales Oxo Tower
From Charlie, Distracted 
From Charlie, Distracted

Charlie, Distracted and I joined the white group and were guided across different levels and rooms by the actors themselves, and spent the first part of the show arms linked and prepared to be scared.

We were told some tales we knew and some we didn't, we all know Hansel and Gretal but did you know about the Princess who's father wanted to marry her or the original version of the Princess and the Frog?

Following the performance we were told to explore and had so much fun doing so, with Charlie climbing into Hansel's cage announcing 'it's actually quite roomy, I don't know what he was complaining about', me finding a wardrobe leading to 'Narnia'... actually, that's a lie. It lead to a dark room that I was too scared to go into and then jumped out of my skin, a screaming wuss on the floor at a talking mirror THAT I KNEW WAS THERE, much to Charlie's amusement.

Completely unaware, the stories of the Brothers Grimm continued around us as we witnessed Snow White and her Prince running away from her glass coffin surrounded by candles and apples.

Grimm Tales Oxo Tower

Annoyingly I can't tell you to go and see it as it has now ended but I have just learnt from Charlie that it's rumoured to return in another London location so keep your eyes and ears open for any whispers.

Terry Pratchett mural in Shoreditch - A moving tribute

Terry Pratchett Mural

I can't remember when I first started reading Terry Pratchett, I know it was because of my Aunty Anne-Marie who has all of the books and has had a massive picture of the Great A-Tuin bearing the weight of four elephants and the great Discworld gliding through space on her wall for as long as I can remember. When Terry Pratchett died we lost one of the greatest minds to ever grace literature and my heart skipped a beat, and obviously not in a happy way.

Courtesy of Twitter I found out that this wonderful mural of Sir Terry and some of his infamous characters had been created just off Brick Lane, I obviously had to run and see it that day even if I was a little behind on the times, luckily for me I could see it in progress (kinda) because the final touches were still being added by this very talented man.

Death has always been my favourite character in the Discworld novels, as strange as that may sound. My favourite quote from him demonstrates the very effect Terry Pratchett had on my life and other fellow fans, and what his death means to us:

"Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling Angel meets the rising Ape" - The Hogfather

Sir Terry Pratchett created this place in the most fabulous way and I'm a combination of sad and excited to read the final chapter when the last ever discworld novel is released in September.

Are you also a fan of Terry pratchett?