Thursday, 4 December 2014

Awesome Of The Week: Blueberry Cupcakes.

I decided to make some cupcakes the other day, we happened to have some blueberries in the fridge so I threw them in the mix to see what happened.

Turns out insanely tasty things happen.

Just a simple and easy recipe for cupcakes - which you can find anywhere - will do. I tend to always go with the rule of 6,6,6 and 3 (same if I am making a victoria sponge.)

6 Oz butter
6 Oz Sugar
6 Oz Self-raising
3 eggs

I actually only used 2 eggs and some milk for this batch because that was all we had and on my day off work I was not okay with the idea of walking into town to buy more eggs.

I splashed in 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence and the small punnet of blueberries, then cooked for roughly 20 minutes at 180oC.

I am yet to decide if I want to ice them or not but I might give it a go, it's so easy and quick so if you like cake - I mean who doesn't? - give it a go.


Thursday, 27 November 2014

I am Thankful.

I am by no stretch of the imagination American, however I think a holiday dedicated to sharing all the things we are grateful for is a beautiful idea. Here is a little list of all the things I want to say thank you for partly to inspire others to really stop and think about how lucky they truly are but mainly because it's a cute thing to do once in a while that gives you a real sense of perspective.

- My family who are always there to support me and never fail to make me smile. I am so blessed to be able to refer to the members of my family as my closest friends. Because that's honestly what they are, when you strip away the fact that they have to put up with me because they live with me.

- Gorgeous friends that will always reply to a text or call no matter how far spread we may now be. Also that we can not see each other for months on end and yet when reunited we don't aknowledge any separation what so ever.

- The ability to own pets. I have a bit of a managerie and love them all unconditionally, I couldn't now imagine my home without animals.

- My job. Yes I complain and moan about it but seriously my job is pretty awesome. The people I work with and for are genuine and kind people and for me that is vital, regardless of the actual work itself.... Also earning money is kinda nice.

- The fact I can access so much. I have a laptop, phone, television and iPad for Internet - meaning entertainment and communication all of which are a luxury often expected and assumed but not appreciated.

- All my fleecie blankets and jumpers. At this time of year my blankets, marvel jumper and unicorn onsie are loved and worn beyond belief. 

- Also with the temperature dropping I am thankful for a nice cup of tea, nothing makes you feel more at home and cosy than a good cuppa.

- Books. As seen by my attempt at booktober I am trying my best to get into a regular reading habit... I'm getting there slowly.

- Music - there is no mood that can be experienced that you can't find a song to accompany and that's pretty special. Music really is how feelings sound.

- Cake. Or baked goods of any kind. It's again at this time of year that I remind myself how much I enjoy baking. In fact as we speak I am waiting for some blueberry cupcakes to cool down so I can tuck in.

So those a few things that are right with my life right now, all in all I reckon I'm doing fairly good!

Take time to think about all the good things you have, let them sink in and you might just find that life can be freaking amazing.


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Awesome of The Week: Gary C Charity Shirt

I came across this shirt approximately 7 minutes ago and am in love.

A very brilliant YouTuber called Gary or Gary C designed this t-shirt and all proceeds are going to a charity that he volunteers for called Mind which supports those that perhaps need a helping hand due to varying mental health issues.

They do great work so giving anything to them is going to make an incredible difference... plus the t-shirt is adorable and crazy festive so what's not to love?

Here is the video where Gary talks a little bit about it -

Give it a watch and then why not head on over to here to purchase your own. They are only available for a limited time so don't leave it too long!


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Booktober # 4: Pawn of Prophecy By David Eddings.

"Long ago, the Storyteller claimed, in this first book of THE BELGARIAD, the evil god Torak drove men and Gods to war. But Belgarath the Sorcerer led men to reclaim the Orb that protected men of the West. So long as it lay at Riva, the prophecy went, men would be safe.

But Garion did not believe in such stories. Brought up on a quiet farm by his Aunt Pol, how could he know that the Apostate planned to wake dread Torak, or that he would be led on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger by those he loved--but did not know...?"

I am miffed at myself that my last Booktober installment has occurred almost half way through November, but I have won the battle with illness and general life business to complete the first in the epic David Eddings fantasy series.

After there being so much hype surrounding these books I went into it hoping beyond reason that I would enjoy it - I think my Dad would disown me if I didn't. Luckily I did! 

I will admit that it's slow to begin with and unless you are a fan of high fantasy you might struggle to get through this one at any great speed. Having said that once I was a fair way into it I did find myself being sucked into the adventure, you truly bond with and care for the characters you meet and feel like you are travelling along beside them.

 Even though this is apparently the slowest of the four I still found it a delight to read - it's only left me with extremely high hopes for the rest of them! With that in mind I have already put in my request for the others in the series to be dragged out of the loft and dusted off for me to start, especially with the promise that they only improve with time.

The world is described in stunning detail so if you have an active imagination like me you won't have any difficulty in immersing yourself. It is however done without being too over-bearing, I find quite often in high fantasy that so much emphasis is placed on building the world up that character development occasionally loses it way - I didn't find this to be the case at any stage of Pawn of Prophecy.

I think this would be an ideal choice for anyone that is just starting in fantasy as I am not overly experienced with it but didn't lose my way!


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Booktober #3: Throne of Glass By Sarah J Maas.

"In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament - fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin's heart be melted?"

This is very late and at this point I'm just hoping to finish Booktober by the end of November! 
This book was yet again a recommendation from my wonderful Sophie when on one of our countless book shop explorations. I'm so so grateful to have her as an influence on not just what I read but on my general reading habits. This was no exception.

If being ill is good for nothing else it did allow me to catch up. Quickly. This weekend I was not feeling my best and so spent the entire day wrapped up in a blanket, feeling a bit sorry for myself, surrounded by tissues and Lemsip. Basically the perfect situation in which to digest this book and that is exactly what I did. I effectively read the entire novel without a break until I finished it at about 4 in the afternoon. It was Marvelous.

I wasn't really sure what to expect here as thankfully the blurb doesn't give much away - it throws you right in to the action without much scene setting at all, but in this case it was very a clever choice. It's written in a way that leaves you wanting to know more and more and you don't at any point in the entire story find yourself waiting for something exciting to happen. Every moment draws you in with inexplicable force.

One thing I enjoyed about Throne of Glass is that although there was a definite love interest it really didn't feel like it was the sole focus which was refreshing. I mean don't get me wrong I appreciate a nice bit of mushy romance as much as the next person, but sometimes it's just great to read foremost about a girl who is a full on bad ass, super talented and all round awesome. Basically I want to be Celaena.....

There is of course one major story line of Celaena fighting her way through a competition to win her freedom which is nail biting as it is but there are also a number of side adventures and curiosities to keep you going - there is literally no opportunity to get bored.

The one small niggle I would have is the ending seemed ever so slightly abrupt for me. It was probably only due to the fact that I wasn't ready to leave this world behind and definitely wasn't ready to say good bye to all the stunning characters I'd met, so really it's just testament to Sarah J Mass's beautiful story.

If you are looking for a book that you can binge out on this is it..... BUT WAIT there's more. Yes this is the first in a series (I seem to be making this a habit!) so that is at least 1 more to add to my TBR list along with the extras that tell you the tales of Celaenas time as an assassin which I can't wait to sink my teeth into.


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

It's been a few days...

So basically I was planning for my next update to be part of booktober but I have a) been really busy and b) been feeling pretty darned rubbish the past few days.
My throat feels like someone has hacked at it with a scouring pad and every muscle feels like lead. I'm not after sympathy (although certainly wouldn't turn it down!) more giving a reason for my lack of posting.

I'm still hoping to finish all four books before the end of the month but am going to be a bit behind with the last two.
I have started reading Pawn of Prophecy and although am not far into it am already loving it. It's one of those novels I've been meaning to read for years since both my sister and dad have raved about this series for a long time.

I will be back soon, promise.


Monday, 20 October 2014

The Best Crumpets Ever.

 A cold Sunday afternoon left me looking for something warm and filling to eat and thus I discovered the best crumpets to ever grace humanity.

Most people will agree that crumpets are delicious in any form you choose to have them but this happened to be so enjoyable I wanted to share it.

First off instead of shoving them in a toaster try cooking them on a grill, they get much crisper on the outside and also the topping melts into a gooey puddle of loveliness.

I grill the crumpets for a short while plain and then as they heat I take them out, slather on marmite (optional if you don't approve of the shiny black condiment.) and top with grated cheese. Dribble on a helping of Lea and Perrins Worcester Sauce and back on the grill they go.

Leave until the cheese is liquid and golden brown then hey presto you have a quick snack that is so comforting the only suitable accompaniment is a cup of tea and a pair of slippers.

You're welcome.


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Awesome Of The Week: Ed Sheeran Music Video

There isn't a whole lot of explanation needed for why this is my choice for an awesome thing this week because it's a cute Ed Sheeran music video where he looks beautiful and is ballroom dancing.... that's really all that needs to be said however I should probably add something else.

I am one of those people that upon finding a song I enjoy will form the music video I want for it in my head and replay it every time I listen to said song .... it's normally involving me as the main actor obviously!
I become obsessed and so there are few things that give me as much pleasure as watching the actual music video for a song and it being perfect (trust me I'm not easy to please!).

This was one of those glorious moments, now everyone loves a bit of Ed Sheeran and his song "Thinking Out Loud" is another triumph, it's beautiful, heartfelt a bit mushy and my god do I love this gorgeous ginger genius.
I think we can all agree that we'll be forever envious of the lovely lady that stars along side Ed in this video and what makes it so delicious is the choreography. People seem fixated with being big, bold and different when it comes to music videos but this has ignored all that hype to strip back to the basics (if you can call this epic dance basic, which fyi you can't!). What do people do when hearing music? Dance. Bam music video sorted.

So if you didn't love him before simply watch and listen ... trust me you will fall, with very little grace, for this extremely talented young man.

Well done Mr Sheeran. Well done.


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Booktober #2: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

"In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.
Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought."

I have finished the second book of Booktober and I must admit that I massively regret this choice.... because thank to booktober I now have 2 more books to read before I can start the second in this series. Had I known how deeply I would fall in love with this book there is no way I would have even considered starting it without purchasing the next one, alas I now must wait.

The most important aspect of this book that needs to be mentioned is the language that Laini Taylor uses, every sentence oozes with stunning phrase and poetry and at times it's simply, heart achingly beautiful.

The story follows a girl named Karou who as main characters go is fascinating, she's unique and creative and pretty much everything I want to be as a person. You are immediately pulled into her world which on the surface is, well fairly average but falling deeper you learn about the dark, dangerous and exciting life she was truly born to live. Add to the mix Akiva who enters her life with an almighty force that pulls her away from everything she once knew. 
Everything that happens in this book is a fresh twist that changes all that you thought you knew about the creatures you have met along the way. There is so much more depth and many hidden secrets within each person that becomes entwined in Karous life.

I read most of this whilst on the train and on multiple occasions had a panic when I realised that I wasn't actually in Prague running errands for Brimstone but actually was heading home and needed to get off at the next stop.....
If you are at all interested in fantasy and other worldlyness ... or honestly even if you're not this book demands to be read. There's adventure, mystery and of course a romance that makes everything else seem so lack luster in comparison.

Pick up this book and you will not be disspointed. That's a guarantee. 


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Booktober #1: Remember Me? By Sophie Kinsella

"Lexi wakes up in a hospital bed after a car accident, thinking it's 2004 and she's a twenty-five-year old with crooked teeth and a disastrous love life.But, to her disbelief, she learns it's actually 2007 - she's twenty-eight, her teeth are straight, she's the boss of her department - and she's married! To a good-looking millionaire! How on earth did she land the dream life??!
She can't believe her luck - especially when she sees her stunning new home. She's sure she'll have a fantastic marriage once she gets to know her husband again. He's drawn up a 'manual of our marriage', which should help.
But as she learns more about her new self, chinks start to appear in the perfect life. All her old colleagues hate her. A rival is after her job. Then a dishevelled, sexy guy turns up... and lands a new bombshell.
What the **** happened to her? Will she ever remember? And what will happen if she does?"

Book number one is done and dusted and I am so pleased I began with this read, I had never experienced a Sophie Kinsella book before but am definitely going to look out for her on my next trip to a book shop!
This story was such easy reading, it was bubbly and had me laughing out loud on a crowded train there's also a few twists that make you simultaneously want to laugh, cry, eat crappy food and drink a lot of wine all at the same time. When I had it open the time just seemed to slip by without me noticing, which might be how I ended up being awake at gone midnight on a work night wanting to finish it .... Whoops.

I fell instantly in love with all the characters - they are larger than life and yet I have 100% encountered people with similar traits... slightly worrying when you actually consider the way some of the characters behave!

I was struck by how confident this story made me feel, sounds ridiculous I know, but it's kind of empowering to read about the way Lexi takes control of her life. Excepting that if you're doing something that's just not you or what you want to be doing with your time then you might want to rethink a few things.
Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed it's not a competition to be won. You shouldn't be battling and in the end if you live that way you're the only one that will lose.

I won't give away any spoilers but this book will leave you with a warm satisfied feeling once you put it down and a strong urge to go and do amazing things with your life because, well you never know what's going to happen.


Monday, 6 October 2014

Awesome Of The Week: New Bracelet/Necklace.

 This was given to me by my Grandma as for a long while she has been looking for something as a keep sake for me, something that belonged to my Grandad.

He passed away about 6 years ago now and since then I have wanted something of his to have as a little reminder of him. He was a huge part of my life and my family so losing him was a big blow to everyone.

As you can see from the photo this is actually a mans bracelet and as there is no way to make it smaller it is masses too big for my wrists so my nifty little brain came up with a plan to be able to wear it as a necklace. Simply threading an old chord necklace through the two ends and voila!

I am hoping to change the clasp and keep it as a bracelet as it is kind of chunky as a necklace.

The inscription on the plate reads B. Webb (Barry Webb) on one side and "All my love Joan" on the back - Joan being my Grandma, along with the date it was given to him which happened to be his 21st birthday.

 I think it absolutely vital to keep the memory of those that mean the most to us alive once they have gone.

I refuse to let my Grandad be forgotten and I will cherish this for myself and know that he is never really gone as long as I keep talking and thinking about him.


Wednesday, 1 October 2014

I'm Doing Booktober

I have always been obsessed with learning about other peoples passions, the enthusiasm that exudes from someone who is in the midst of explaining something they love is an experience I treasure.

Now for a truly ridiculous amount of time I have been meaning to read more books, this is mostly due to the fact that for three years I lived with my lovely Sophie, who is the biggest book worm I have ever had the pleasure of meeting - and she is going to make it big in the industry very soon just you watch.

I shall digress from talking about how amazingly wonderful Sophie is so that I can explain the plan I am going to put into action in order to encourage myself into the habit of regular reading.
It is inspired by the brilliant Carrie Hope Fletcher, who for those that don't know is a YouTuber, blogger, author and currently playing Eponine in the Westends Les Mis.

She is an avid reader and every October she chooses four books to read and discuss, meaning each week throughout the month she has something to talk about with other literature enthusiasts - hence the name Booktober (Video about hers is linked here). I wish to do the same this month, so below are the 4 books I have had in my "To Be Read Pile" for months and months that I hope to finally get round to reading, I will write a little about each one when I finish and will link to them all below:

- Remember me?: Sophie Kinsella
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone: Laini Taylor
- Throne of Glass: Sarah J Maas
- Pawn of Prophecy: David Eddings

Anyone that fancies giving it a go or is simply interested in reading more I encourage you to do so, let me know if you plan to get involved and what books you are going to devour.

If that isn't enough inspiration than maybe knowing that this month is also host to the Books Are My Bag campaign which is an annual drive to get people to support book shops by bringing together readers of all ages, genders and genres to remind themselves what makes book shops so magical. Find all the info you need here and get involved.


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Torquay - It's a Three Generation Kinda Thing.

So this Friday I went on a trip to Torquay.

I packed quickly on Thursday night after my pole lesson shoving a few bits in a bag for our weekend away. Mum and I left the house at about 9 am and sadly I didn't leave myself enough time to have my morning coffee, a travesty right?! Don’t panic too much though as we thankfully needed to stop to get some petrol on the way to pick up our other travelers so I was able to buy a latte. Considering my option at home would have been instant coffee it all turned out better than I planned so we were off to a grand start.
Arriving in Alton half an hour later we collected the rest of our party which consisted of my amazing Grandma and her lovely friend Grace (who is in her 80’s but won’t show it!). From where I live it’s roughly 180 miles to Torquay so generally it would take 2-3 hours..... it took us 5. To be fair to us we did stop twice, once for tea which is always necessary on a long journey and then for a quick bite to eat, also essential. We managed to find a really traditional road side cafe for lunch, it was small, dated, right on the motorway and the food was incredible. I may have only had a ham and cheese toasty but my god was it all kinds of tasty.

The rest of the weekend was equally moreish as on arrival at the hotel (The Grand) at around 3 pm we enjoyed a cream tea which is one of my all time favourite things... coming second to afternoon tea obviously! The hotel itself was beautiful with the interior being just what you would expect of an old fashioned seaside hotel - lots of red and gold colourings and ornate trinkets dispersed all over the place. The rooms were HUGE, no word of a lie and the beds were like sleeping in a giant marshmallow. Heaven.

The first afternoon was spent exploring the coast that was right outside our front door. We actually came across a rather unexpected bird of prey, I’m not sure whether it was supposed to be there, had had a shock or was an escapee but it was sat on the fence and let me get really darned close before having enough of me shoving a camera in it’s face and flying to a safer, higher perch.

That evening we were served a two course meal, the taste and presentation were just insane and I couldn't help but get a picture of the desserts which were more like works of art and I am definitely not used to that sort of finery. The evening was all finished off with a glass of wine and being serenaded by a talented pianist in the hotel lounge.

The second day began with a breakfast buffet which as expected I over indulged on, but who can say no to hash browns? After a quick freshen up we headed out on a half hour boat ride over to another coastal town called Brixham, full of colour, pirates and fresh salt air. We couldn't leave without a quick trip on The Golden Hind, a bit of lunch and buying a few gifts for the Dad and sister who didn't come.

The afternoon shot past with us making use of the hotels pool and Jacuzzi until it was time for yet more food, this time three courses of deliciousness. A bit more wine and music blasting from the wedding party room and we headed to bed for one more sleep.

The last morning spent in Torquay meant another excessive meal for breakfast and then it was time to begin the journey home. This time around the drive only took 3 hours as stops were reduced to a single one for lunch. Pulling off the motorway to find a pub rather than a service station was the best decision we made that day, the staff were friendly and catered to us even if we were super awkward by not wanting to have a main meal! Compliments to the chef.

In the end the weekend was perfect, I got to spend time with some incredible women and explore somewhere new! If anyone has debated going to Torquay I highly recommend it.

If you wish to see more of my photos Click Here


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Awesome Of The Week: 21 Day Kindness Challenge.

This is a challenge that I tried to take part in last year and honestly didn't accomplish as much as I'd hoped soooo I am signing up again this time around.

It is an annual challenge set up by the lovely people over at (I have mentioned this before but go and take a look around their site because it is a fantastic project). They are aiming to encourage as many people as possible to complete an act of kindness every day for 21 days.
The challenge begins on October 2nd and continues throughout the month, now thinking up 21 different acts is actually kind of tricky so if you join this challenge each day you will be sent an email with inspiration for that day.

There is no pressure to complete the specific task they set in the emails and you can do whatever sort of act you wish, if you see something that you think would be a lovely thing to do then go right ahead. The emails are simply a push in the right direction if you need a helping hand.

If this sounds like something you would enjoy then sign up here for the emails etc. Small acts can have a huge impact not only on those around you but also on you, doing kind things promotes more kindness. The reactions you receive will encourage you to notice and take advantage of any opportunity for kindness, it will also encourage others to do the same and that can only be a positive thing.

So go forth and increase those warm fuzzy feelings.


Saturday, 20 September 2014

Weekly Update.

So I am trying something different with this post, I always feel that my life is pretty uneventful and recently decided that I need to start making an effort do to things I enjoy and realise when interesting things actually happen to me.
I want to take a moment every so often to document what I have been up to and notice that “Hey I actually have a life!”.
I stayed with my housemate from uni last weekend in Crawley and as she lives in such close proximity to London it would have been rude not to go! We spent an incredible day going round Leicester Square including M&M World, Cyber Candy and then onto Trafalgar Square and The National Gallery to pretend that we are cultured.
We also experienced Five Guys for the first time – now if you are unsure of what this is (I had no idea of its existence until this weekend) or have never been then I shall explain. It is possibly the GREATEST BURGER JOINT OF ALL TIME. This is not a statement I would put out on the internet without some serious consideration as I take my burgers and more specifically my 50’s style American diners very very seriously. I am an avid fan of a restaurant chain called Ed’s Easy Diner which is also in Leicester Square and so wanted to give Five Guys a go, now the menu seems somewhat limited on first viewing but it doesn’t even matter, the food is so beautifully crafted that you need not ask for anything more.
The burgers look and taste completely homemade, the chips (fries) are hand cut and made fresh every day, they even have a blackboard hanging on the wall to tell the customers where the potatoes for that days chips (fries) came from which I assume is always a small English farm. Getting food from smaller farms and companies is always great and when I see such big restaurants doing this it makes me enjoy eating there even more.
Your order comes in a big brown bag with burgers wrapped in tin foil and fries in a paper cup, leaving no washing up for the hard working staff and also if you wanted it is all recyclable waste! As is evident from my babbling I loved everything about this restaurant, the food, the service, the atmosphere and highly recommend it to anyone who likes a good burger.... just maybe plan on an early lunch to avoid too much of a queue as it is extremely popular.

We then also made a spontaneous decision to get tickets to see a show – I had never seen a show in the West End until this point for one reason or another even though I adore the theatre (correction apparently according to my mother I saw Beauty and the Beast when I was little!). I didn’t want to include that in this post as it would be too long, if you’re interested you can find a separate post here.

This Wednesday I had my second Brownie meeting as an actual leader, if you are unaware I volunteer at one of my local Brownie packs and recently had to take over the running of it – see post about thathere – and for the first time I truly felt in charge. It was scary but pretty exciting too, I can’t wait to plan meetings and new things for all the girls to do. I think Brownies is brilliant but is in dire need of a fresh set of eyes to bring it up to speed. This week we made a scarecrow for the local competition in my village where different groups compete to make the best looking scarecrow, and of course ours is wearing Brownie uniform. We got very messy with paper mache to create a head and stuffed some old Brownie uniforms to make the bodies, it all went surprisingly well and fingers crossed the judges appreciate our efforts!

I went to Pole on Thursday as normal, I was super tired and the session didn’t go quite as well as it could have but I got some practice in and fingers crossed we will soon have a space to practice in for ourselves! For anyone wanting to find some form of exercise or class that can help with fitness, in particular strength then pole could be for you. I am not someone that enjoys exercise or is fit in any capacity, to come across pole which I actually look forward to going to and feel it working the next day was quite a win.

The end of the week was pretty chill, I had the house to myself so two friends came to see me and we drank cider and talked until half 2 in the morning. After a long week at work there isn’t much better than seeing friends that you can laugh with but don’t actually have to make effort with .... that sounds pretty bad. What I mean by that is relaxing is nice or more accurately necessary on a Friday and although socialising feels like hella lot of effort having people around you makes the evenings a bit more interesting. When I say friends I “don’t have to make effort with” I don’t mean people I don’t care enough about to try with, but friends that have known me for so long at this point that nothing would phase them meaning very little effort is required to enjoy their company.

Aaaaand that brings us to today, Saturday, sitting on my couch flanked by a cat on each side, coffee in my Maleficent mug, Tangled on in the background and writing. Utter bliss.


It's The Theatre Darling.

The theatre and shows are not something I have really talked about online much but I am very passionate about it. When I see a show it can completely change my outlook on life, even if only for the few days following - the songs, the costumes, the dancing and the stories are something so magical and what you get from the theatre can’t be found or experienced anywhere else, it’s simply... unique. Now I don't profess to be a west end buff by any means, more just a fan and someone that can appreciate the talent and beauty of it all. So here is what I thought of my evening seeing Wicked.

In my 22 years I have sadly not had many opportunities to actually see a lot of live shows and in fact have only seen one in London, but seeing my first west end show this Saturday led to the inspiration for writing this post. I had the fortune to see Wicked with my lovely friend Sophie and needless to say it was one of the most incredible spectacles I have had the joy of witnessing.
I knew by its reputation that I would love it, I also knew a couple of the big numbers already but am glad I didn’t know anymore than that. Of course I had an idea of the basic storyline but after the first half I honestly had no idea what might be coming next, it turned out to be one of the most cleverly and stunningly written pieces I’ve seen, the twists and turns even I didn’t expect and actually had me in full on tears at one point.
The songs I was yet to hear have now found a firm and permanent place in my brain.... and yes the soundtrack has been ordered. The main characters were portrayed incredibly by Kerry Ellis and Savannah Stevenson who both bought their own quirks to both Elphaba and Glinda and it must be a daunting task to follow in the footsteps of the original goddesses that played them on Broadway -  Idinia Menzel and Kristin Chenowith.

Another surprising fond memory I will have from it is the moment I realised that the character of Boq was being played by (an amazing) actor called Sam Lupton who we by chance had already seen in Avenue Q when he played Princeton in Bath.
This show has had such pressure thrust upon it by its uncountable accolades, and you find that sometimes if things are over credited, when it’s finally your chance to see it, it’s well a bit of a letdown. It couldn’t be less true in this situation however, no matter how many compliments this musical is given it wouldn’t ever be enough. Ever.
I could go on for an inordinate amount of time on the subject but I don’t want to bore you witless and also don’t want to give anything away for those who have yet to see it, but honestly what are you even doing with your life?

I am still obsessed and completely overwhelmed by what I saw at the Apollo Victoria Theatre and can’t wait for the chance to go again because I will 100% be seeing it as many times as is humanly possible!


Saturday, 6 September 2014

Awesome of The Week: Wispa Biscuits

 Food is something very close to my heart so it should be no surprise it has come up in only the second week of this segment.

Any biscuit or chocolate fanatic will have undoubtedly come across these new Cadbury products. I think it started with caramel and then moved on to crunchie (don't quote me on this), which were both equally moorish.

But try and refrain from getting too worked up over these until I inform you of the latest release.... Wispa. Yes you heard correctly, Wispa.
On first taste you might be tricked into thinking it is simply a delicious shortbread biscuit covered in milk chocolate but you would be oh so wrong.
The further towards the middle you venture you'll be over joyed to find how much more this little snack has to offer. Balanced beautifully in the middle of the shortbread, hidden by chocolate, is the aerated centre normally found in the heart of a Wispa chocolate bar.

If you are yet to experience the joy that this biscuit can bring then go purchase a pack and you can thank me later.


Saturday, 30 August 2014

Awesome Of The Week: VO5 Styling Mousse.

I have decided on a new weekly segment for this blog - it will be called Awesome Of The Week - kind of given away by the title of this post....
The idea for this segment is to talk about something that has had a particular impact on me that week. It might be a song, a book, a product or just a situation I want to share!

For the first week I wanted to feature a product - VO5 styling mousse. I've never actually done a product review or even mentioned a product in any blog post ever, I'm new to it so bare with me.

For anyone unaware I have curly hair, like really really curly hair and everyone with curly hair knows the nightmares it leads to. The single best thing for curly hair is the right product, something that controls the frizz leaving smooth curls but that isn't to heavy and pulls the curls out.

I have struggled and almost shaved my hair off after trying to get it to look some what presentable but this mousse does the job perfectly.
Just shlap a handful on (dependent on amount of hair, don't go overboard less is more!) towel dried hair after a shower and then blow dry upside down. Now I can't promise this will work for all those with big hair as it tends to do whatever it fancies and ignore any opinion you might have but for me it seems to help!

If you are looking for something that is easy to use and within budget give it a go and hopefully it can become your hairs new bff.


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Songs That Make Me Feel Powerful.

Sometimes it's not so easy to remember the simple things that can have a huge impact. For me it's certain songs, I mean I always appreciate music and the effect it can have on anyone's mentality but I am thinking more of specific songs that you under appreciate.
So I have taken it upon myself to list my personal under appreciated songs in hopes that it will not only leave me with a number of songs that are empowering to me but perhaps will encourage others to see a potential they had forgotten. So here are my top 10 (in no particular order) forgotten gems for when I want to feel mighty.

1. Welcome To My Truth - Anastacia

2. Almost There - Princess and The Frog

There are so many Disney songs that I could list but wanted to just pick one that is perhaps less obvious then say Let It Go from Frozen!

3. I've got all this ringing in my ears and none on my fingers - Fall Out Boy 

Might seem a strange one but for some reason belting this out feels great!

4. If It Makes You Happy - Sheryl Crow

5. Still a Weirdo - KT Tunstall 

This one is empowering because it just makes me feel even more me - yeah that definitely makes sense...shut up.

6. Defying Gravity - Idina Menzel/Kristen Chenoweth

Yes a somewhat obvious choice but hell is it the best for making you feel like a super hero.

7. Show Me Heaven - Maria McKee 

You'll feel strong and kinda sexy.

8. Fuckin Perfect - P!nk 

Um duh.

9. Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield 

Embrace your uniqueness.

10. Lastly an interchangeable one - Theme Song to your current favourite TV show e.g Orange is The New Black!

I hope this gave some inspiration and encouragement to grab your hairbrush and enjoy!!



Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A Change of Perspective.

For the past few months I have had a huge change in perspective and general mood... for the better. I have spoken endlessly on here about when I feel rubbish and although it is useful and VERY important to get that stuff off your chest and out in the open it can also be a hindrance.
I have realised that constantly talking about negative things has lead to constant negative thought processes which in turn lead to more negative outbursts, which no one enjoys. Not me and not the people around me.
So I started reading positive words, looking up inspirational things like KIND SPRINGS (which I did a post about a while back), watching videos and films that make me feel good and hell even simply listening to an upbeat song while dancing around in my underwear. I got to the point where I realised that although you definitely can’t force happiness (and you shouldn't) it can be encouraged to pop out occasionally.
For me it has been finding my more spiritual side, I've read up on Buddhism, learned about crystals and even started meditating. Now I can’t say I will turn vegan and go live in a wigwam however I have found something that makes me feel at peace and taught me that being right here and now is what I was missing. Too often was I looking into the past and thinking about how I could have done things differently... better, or living in the future and being convinced that everything will be perfect, I will do great things and it will be so much better than now without me really doing anything. I stopped, took a look around and noticed that where I am isn’t so bad and I was so preoccupied that I forgot that I am living, right now and that if I want to do good things and feel fulfilled I am the only person that can do that. So I am going to do it.

It’s time to appreciate all that I have and go and do everything and anything I am drawn towards, following my instinct when it feels right to do something. Not worry about what has been and gone anymore, feeling like I should have lived differently. I am starting to wonder if there is a rhyme and reason to the way life works out the way it does and you know what, even if there isn't I may as well enjoy it and make the most of it all.
This will start with making a list of things I want to do, they might be small, big, some even damn near impossible, surrounding myself with people that are positive and lift me up, do the things that make me happy even if I am alone in doing so!
Now if I lose track of why I’m doing this and sink back into old ways I will re-read this post and take my own advice that I gave a friend today - whenever I feel down I am going to take the time to physically write down a list of all the things that are making me happy at that time however insignificant they may seem. And smile.

So here is to saying yes to opportunities, regardless of how scary, big, simple or small they appear. It won’t be easy, if it were I would already be doing it but I want to give it a hella good try.

Phew .... so I have actually loved writing this, I guess it is kind of like a diary entry and probably is boring and nonsensical but it is extremely cathartic. I encourage anyone who is unsure of how they feel about anything to try it, it will make your thoughts so much clearer. I even feel empowered and strong, yes me, that girl who is 22 and sat in pyjamas with a cup of tea while blasting the Wicked soundtrack at 11.30pm feels strong.

Come join me because you know I’m going to start documenting this as well!


Thursday, 7 August 2014

I came across this fab website today courtesy of a random tweet from my friend Sophie that allows you to follow absolutely any blog regardless of the site it is based on.

You get your own feed where all the posts from the blogs that you follow show up - so just the same as every other blogging website but without the effort of going to each site individually to catch up on your favourites.

So if like me you are a little lazy but still interested in being in the loop give this a try.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Sunday, 27 July 2014

What Girl Guiding means to me.

All I remember about my time in Guiding is loving everything about it and that there was never an evening I didn't want to go to the meetings. I know not everyone will appreciate just what girl guiding is and what it does but I want to try and explain it (granted my gift with words is somewhat lacking and this is likely to end up not truly portraying just how great this organisation is but I feel like trying).
I have gone through pretty much every possible form of girl guiding, I was a Rainbow, Brownie, Guide, Ranger, young leader and now I’m training as/being a guider so would like to think I have a fairly extensive knowledge if it!

To quickly explain the different levels there are – Rainbows aged 5-7, Brownies 7-11, Guides 11-15 and Ranger or Senior Section girls are 16-25. The most important thing that happens in these meetings is that these young girls are put in social situations with other girls outside of school. In the early stages they are only just learning about what it is to socialise and work with other people and associations like this are vital to improve abilities that can be transferred in everyday life and when they are older and in the working world.
The girls are taught to cook, make many crafts, about the world, first aid and responsibility as the sixers are in charge of the girls in their six (Gnomes, Pixies, Elves and Imps).
As you progress through the stages nothing seems as exciting as the prospect of camping without parents. I found the slightly increased emphasis on outdoor and physical activities at this stage to be incredibly fun, some of my favourite memories come from going away as a group.
The level often unknown or forgotten about is Senior Section or Rangers, now there may have only been 4 in my section but my god did we do a lot, including trips to London and to the highest point on the Isle of Wight – singing Disney songs all the way up and having a picnic at the top makes the journey a bit easier.

 So so may fond memories are made when you are a part of something as big as Guiding, I've seen it increase self-confidence, fitness, skills in cooking and craft and not to mention the comradeship gained along the way.
It’s because of this that I want to be able to give back so I am currently doing my leadership qualification, having helped at one of my local groups for 2 and a half years on and off I have recently agreed to take it on myself as the current leaders of the pack are leaving/retiring.

I was unsure whether to fully take it on as it is quite a commitment, I was weighing up if it would be viable and if I was up to it. Just as I was about to turn it down one of the youngest and (I shouldn't say it but) cutest Brownies looked at me one evening and out of nowhere says “I don’t want Brownies to ever end”. That was it, that was the moment I decided that it was something I just had to do, seeing how much Brownies means to the girls is why it had to continue. It’s still a fairly terrifying concept, being responsible for 24 7-11 year old girls but I think I am looking forward to it.

As you can tell from reading this I absolutely adore what Brownies do and all the activities that the recent leaders have done with this pack have been fabulous and thoroughly enjoyed. Having said that I am excited about making a couple of changes for them, mostly focusing on completion of badges as well as more physical activities. Most young girls enjoy all the things traditionally associated with Guiding BUT we need to appreciate that times are changing and so are the girls. A big issue we face is the change to Scouts, now that girls are allowed to join and focus on these exciting physical activities – orienteering, fire building, team building games, a lot of girls are leaving guiding to join them.
 I intend to get my girls involved in getting active and also learning a lot, the badges that can be earned actually suit this plan perfectly. There are so many that require the girls to improve or learn a brand new ability (swimming, cycling etc), get active and be educated about other cultures, food, charities even environmental issues and science – which I am particularly passionate about.

I have some big shoes to fill and I have no idea if I will make a decent leader for these girls, but I do know that they mean a lot to me and all I want is to ensure they enjoy coming each week, they learn a lot but most importantly leave with experiences they won’t forget and lifelong friendships just like I did. If I do half as well at this as the women I have met throughout my time with the association then I can be proud and know I did well!

Lastly a plea – anyone that has previously been involved in Guiding or simply feels like they might benefit from it please, please contact your local pack and offer your help, even if it’s just every so often, especially if you are a parent of a Rainbow, Brownie or Guide. Guiders and young leaders are always needed to continue this incredible work and help the charity grow... yes Girl Guiding is a charity and relies on donations from people and volunteers to run it, without the dedication of people like my brown owl who gave over 30 years of her life to the same Brownie pack, there is no way it could survive.


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

My Frozen Experience.

If you haven’t seen it yet, stop reading this and go. Now.

I kind of want to leave this review there as that’s really all that needs to be said, however I think perhaps I need to work a bit harder -especially considering how long it’s been since I posted anything. Yeah sorry about that.

So for those  living under a rock Frozen is the most recent Disney movie and as an avid Disney fan it took me a lot longer than it should have to actually go and see it.
The first experience I actually had of this film (other than what has been running around tumblr since it was released) was my older sister telling me to watch a YouTube video of one of the songs featured in it.
I was at work when I got the text so decided to watch it on my lunch break – big mistake. The song in question was “Do You Want To Build a Snowman”, if you have experienced this song already you will understand the emotional storm it creates within even the toughest of hearts. Added to the fact I was already a little emotional that day was the fact that it was my real life sister that suggested listening to it – a song about sisters. Needless to say I almost had a minor break down in the office and had a sudden urge to hug every single person I saw that day and tell them I hope that they have a great relationship with all of their siblings.
I was a mess.

Anyway after getting over that ordeal I went and saw the entire film with my sister, mum and Grandma, it was a three generation outing.
First off the attendant giving us the tickets had to check we had the right film as “It’s a kids film” excuse you but your facts are incorrect Disney it not for children……
Once we assured him this was in fact the film we had planned to watch we sat in the smallest cinema ever, seriously it was like being in someone’s lounge. But what better venue to watch Disney in, all we were missing were slippers and a cup of tea.

The film itself is utterly beautiful, the songs, the characters and the story all lend themselves to Disney perfectly. Not only that but many of the characters are voiced by massive Broadway stars; I don’t know what more you could ask for. Idina Menzel is a real life princess and if you disagree then you are wrong and need to be punched in the boob/dick depending on gender.
Now obviously I am still undecided on my favourite song although “Let It Go” will make you feel like you could cure world hunger, poverty and every illness ever all at the same time.
As for the characters I think – and I say think as it changes daily – Ana is my favourite just because she is awkward, naive yet strong and is most importantly, undoubtedly always herself. I feel that she is the kind of female role model all young girls could look up to …. Other than the whole wanting to get married after meeting the guy just that day, but we can forgive her that as she got distracted from day dreaming about boys by wanting to stuff chocolate in her face. I think that was the moment I decided I loved her.
I would also happily share my carrots with Sven….. or Kristoff... okay definitely Kristoff.

I shall now end this post as I started it and say to everyone regardless of if you are male or female, how old you might be or whether you are a Disney fan or not (but come one who isn’t) go and see this film when you can. 
Oh and expect to be singing nothing but these songs for the rest of your life.

Bye x