Monday, 16 March 2015

Skincare Routine

When I turned thirteen, things turned ugly. All those hormones rushing through my body caused changes. Of course all the normal development happened, but mainly I noticed the changes in my hair and in my skin.

I got teenage acne pretty badly. Mainly my face, by also my chest and back. It was greasy and red and sore and I had it worst out of all of my friends. It was embarrassing.

In an attempt to control and improve my skin, I did lots of research and tried lots of products and was really into my skincare routine.

Of course, none of it really did much to combat my acne. Despite a friends suggestions that I was simply 'not washing my face properly', I was going through puberty. It was my hormones. I also went to the doctors pretty regularly for tablets and special pharmaceutical creams, again none of which really made a dent.

Finally, when I was around 16 my doctor prescribed me Dianette which is a contraceptive pill used to treat severe acne. Writing this, I goggled Dianette to re-acquaint myself with my old friend and have found that is has since been linked with a high risk of blood clots. However, for me back then, it was my savior. Literally in about a month and a half my skin clearer up. It was amazing. Even now at 23 I chose my Pill carefully because of the effect it has on my skin. I have tried a few, and Yasmin also works wonders for me. I stopped taking it for a few months last year, and my back and chest once again broke out in pretty nasty spots.

Anyway, I guess because of all my problems in the past, I am very good at looking after my skin. Even after a big night out I will always take the time to cleanse, tone and moisturize before falling into bed. Saturday, after my morning gym session is when I give my skin an extra treat.

Here is what I use.


Saturday Special


(Yes, I have big pore issues)

Saturday, 7 March 2015


Life has been pretty hectic lately. I had an amazing time in Dublin last weekend visiting university friends (more on that later), and work has been crazy. Which also means lots of after work drinks with the team to unwind. So it is fair to say I have been exhausted this week.

I haven't been able to spend a lot of time with my boyfriend either, so we decided to treat ourselves today to a good lunch out.

We had been hearing a lot of good things about Constancia, an Argentinian grill on the corner of Tower Bridge Road and Tanner Street. As a massive meat eater, my boyfriend was dying to go. Of course Argentina is known for it's steaks and this place didn't dissappoint.

The staff were so friendly and welcoming. I loved the relaxed atmosphere and watching the meat being hung and cooked on a big open grill behind the bar.

I opted for the Gourmet Burger with Oggleshield Cheese and Crispy Bacon whilst my other half went for the Rib-eye Steak with chips, which he dug into so quick I didn't get the chance to take a snap!

The burger was good, not they best I've ever had (i've been on a bit of a burger tasting mission lately, and have ate at a LOT of London burger places), but definately very nice. I should have gone for the steak, it looked so juicy. My boyfriend was not dissappointed with his and proclaimed his Rib-eye 'amazing' and definately one to rival the likes of Gaucho and Goodmans.

To finish, we shared two very naughty deserts, a brownie and a cheesecake. Delicious!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Catch Up

It has been a pretty quiet week so far. After Paris, and Skiing and then Rome (and Dublin this weekend!) and some relaxation time was massively needed.

My weekend was spent getting up to date on Grey's Anatomy (heartbreaking), Walking Dead and marathons of Modern Family. I sorted stuff that needed to be sorted, hit the gym and rewarded myself with a lovely pub dinner on Sunday with the boyfriend.

Between weekends of no internet and going through a massively busy period at work, I had a looong list of posts on my bloglovin' feed to catch up on! Here are some of my favorite from the last (couple of) weeks.

Why Being 8 Was Great! - My childhood...and some adulthood
Voluminous Hair - Flat care, don't care (for it)
23 Photos All 20-Somethings Instagram - True dat
Pilates - I need to book that class
Be a Tourist in Your City - Yes. In London, Edinburgh and Newcastle
Life Changing Banana Bread - Because I always buy fruit and never eat it. I have four very ripe banana's sitting on my kitchen bench

Saturday, 21 February 2015


On Wednesday, my friend and I went to see Beautiful at Aldwych Theater. A musical about the life of singer songwriter Carole King.

I didn't realize how many great songs were hers! She has been responsible for over 100 hit singles. You've Got a Friend, One Fine Day, Up on the Roof, You've Lost That Loving Feeling. All Carole's. Very impressive.

Our seats were quiet high up. We had a great view but they are not got the faint hearted! We were in the middle of our row so had to squeeze past people to get to our seats and my heart was in my throat, one trip and I felt like I would tumble right onto the stage. Once I was sitting down though it as fine - pheww. I am not good with heights.

The show as great - the cast were all brilliant. I was so impressed by Joanna Woodward playing the lead. I was so surprise after the show when I found out that she was the understudy. And I have to say, my friend and I got very excited when we spotted Jay Perry from S Club Juniors in the Ensemble!

If you want a show to get you moving in your seats go see this ! You will be singing the soundtrack all week.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

When In Rome

I am becoming right the little jet setter. My lovely boyfriend rang me up Thursday night and told me to pack a suitcase. He was whisking me away to Rome for valentines weekend! Less than a week after we got back from Switzerland (thank goodness I had all my laundry done).

It was a bit of a mad dash to get to the airport in time after work on Friday. We literally made it by about a minute, I was majorly stressing. But we did make it, and I calmed down (with the help of some wine - thanks BA) and before I knew it we were in Rome! Somewhere I had really wanted to go for the longest time.

Our hotel was really central, though perhaps not in the best location. It was right by Termini train station and most train stations aren't in the best area. We went out to grab some midnight ice-cream (of course, I mean Italy), and spotted a few ladies of the night...

Anyways, like I said it was very central. We were about a fifteen minute walk from the Colosseum, our first stop on Saturday morning. It was really very cool. We stood in the arena and imagined that we were gladiators heading into our fight. My boyfriend reckoned he could take down a lion or two no problem. I wish we had paid for a tour of it, rather than just wondering around by ourselves though. We stopped and sneakily listened to a few guides and what they were saying was so interesting. The snippets I heard really gave more life to the building and helped with our imaging!


We then walked through the forum, and jumped on a bus to the Vatican. When we arrived, the big screens around St Peter's Square we all on as new Cardinals were being welcomed into the church by the Pope. After a little browse, we joined a big que that was snaking around the square. We weren't entirely sure what the que was for (I had a nights notice before the trip - no time to research), but it was long so it had to be good and decided to wait in it a little while. Turns out it was to enter the Basilica which was very impressive. Obviously, it didn't move for a little while as the service for the Cardinals was still in progress, but it meant that when we were allowed to enter it wasn't completely filled to the brim with tourists. Also, it was extra cool that the Pope had been there 20 minutes before us! Before you enter the Basilica you have to go through airport-esk security and there are a lot of signs telling you to be quiet and to be respectful as of course, it is a place of worship, and there are lots of fairly intimidating men in uniforms around to enforce this. Of course, my very accident prone boyfriend manage to fall up the stairs entering the church, causing a bit of a fuss and lots of glares and titters from said security. 

By this time, our stomachs were rumbling. And surely it is a crime to be hungry when you're in Italy, so we headed in the direction of our next destination, the Pantheon, and grabbed some lunch. We shared a pizza for a starter and had a pasta dish each for our mains. I went for spaghetti and meatballs, but was very jealous of my boyfriends amazing carbonara.

After the Pantheon, we went to the Trevi Fountain. This was my only disappointment of the trip. It was one of the things in Rome that I was really looking forward to seeing, but when we got there, it was all covered in scaffolding, with not a drop of water in sight. We discovered that it was closed for repairs for the year. Typical. Nevermind, I still threw a penny in! With ice-cream in hand to cheer us up, we took in more of the sites Rome has to offer.

One thing about Rome that I really wasn't expecting was the level of poverty. I don't know why, but in my head I never pictured Rome to seem... poor. But it did. Every step you take, there is a man or women trying to sell you a rose, or a bag, or a self-stick (yes, really. I have never seen so many self-sticks before in my life. No I did not buy one), it was really annoying, and I have to admit I did get a little frustrated. But then we went out for a nice dinner on the Saturday evening, and walking to the restaurant we passed a LOT of homeless people sleeping on the street, with just a bit of cardboard for shelter. The worst was on one corner, I saw a little make-shift tent made from some clear plastic sheet. Mum was sleeping by the tent, with dad and two little children inside. The sight of those two little pairs of shoes outside broke my heart. I wish I had bough a bloody self-stick or a rose or something.

It was a lovely valentines day surprise. We had such a fun time together and ate so much pizza and so much pasta and so much ice-cream. I came home feeling all the more cultured, with a massive craving to re-read some Dan Brown books.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Traveling alone

So, pre-skiing I had to go to Paris for a few days for work (not a fun trip, literally hotel, office, hotel,
office). I got back into London around 9pm on the Friday and my flight for Switzerland was like 7am the next day. Urgh.

I always get the Eurostar into Gare du Nord and from there get a taxi to the office. This time I had a bit of a disaster. Basically the taxi driver took me for a bit of a ride ! We were driving for ages and ages and I knew it should only take about 15 minutes. so I asked him how far away we were and that I thought we would have arrived by now. He replied saying 'oh yes, very close'. Then we went around a corner and the road was closed so he told me it would be quicker to walk, just go down that street. So I did and followed his directions but didn't recognise anywhere. I ended on some quiet backstreet and I had no clue where I was. After wandering for like 15 mins I gave someone the address of the office and asked where it was. They were like oh, it's the other side of Paris, you can't walk there. Great. So I had to track down another taxi which took ageeeees (I finally found a very nice security man outside a hotel to help me). Then I finally made it to the office. A journey which should have taken me about 15/20 minutes ending up taking about 2 hours. 

At no point did I feel particularly unsafe. Embarrassed, yes. Wet, yes (it was pouring). Annoyed, tired, frustrated, a bit panicked that I was now running so late. Yes. But it was the middle of the day and there were lots of people around so I was ok. 

But it made me think. The taxi driver saw a young, English girl who didn't speak a lot of the language and they took advantage. It could have been so much worse. That taxi driver could have taken me anywhere or done anything to me. 

For next time, what can I do differently? I can't change being a young women, or that I'm English, or that I don't speak the language of everywhere I travel to. What do you guys do when traveling alone to look after yourselves?

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Skiing in Switzerland

Switzerland was so wonderful. It was a break that I massively needed. As I mentioned in the previous post, I am not the best skier in the world, but I just love the mountains. The views are incredible, and it is just so calm and relaxing. The air is just so fresh and makes my skin feel amazing. Plus, lots of cheese. And lots of Toblerone. 

What is not to love.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Off Skiing !

See you in a week guys !

I am all packed and ready for a week skiing, my christmas present off my lovely boyfriend.

It will be our fourth year on the slopes. We always go to the same place, Villars in Switzerland, where my boyfriend learned to ski as a child. He has been at least once a year since he was about 4 years old - so is the perfect guide.

I'm not a great skier myself. I was never the sporty type and I am terrified of heights. Skiing is one of those things best learned young, when you are too young to be scared. But I give it a good go, each year I gain more and more confidence. Plus the scenery is breathtaking. 

Whilst I'm away, keep up to date with my happenings and see the slopes for yourself via my twitter and instagram accounts.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Things I Think About at 2am

It's 2am. I am 23 years old. I should be in a club somewhere dancing the night away. Or at least slightly tipsy and just home from the pub. How old is too old to go to a club? I don't have many years left. Why am I not making the most of it ?! When I am old I am going to get regret not being out tonight.

Should I have moved back to the North East after university? Would I be out tonight if I was there instead? Would I have a better social life? All my best friends are there, and all of my very big, very close family. But there is less to do. They should all move to London. We could all live on the same street and be neighbors like the Neighbours on Ramsey Street. But then I don't want my parents to know what I'm up to all the time, so that probably wouldn't work. Is Eastenders set in a real place in London? What tube stop is it? Houses are so much cheaper back home. I could by my very own, beautifully furnished home in a few years at home. In London I am never going to have my own flat. And I could have a car and drive places. I could do a big supermarket shop in one go and not have to buy all my food on discount from the Co-op or Tesco Express. That's pretty boring. I'm 23 for goodness sake.

Have I chosen the right career? What if I discover it isn't for me? What if I do want to leave London eventually? My job is pretty London centric and it would be pretty crap doing it anywhere else. Could I be making more money if I had done something else? Why didn't I just become an accountant for God's sake, you can do that anywhere. Would I prefer to be an account? Does being accountant pay more than what I do now? Do my friends make more money than me? I can always become an accountant later in life. But then I would have to re-train and I would probably have kids. I don't want to be studying for professional exams and have kids, sounds like a handful. Plus, the pay cut when I start over would suck. Maybe I should do a masters.

I miss being a student. If I won the lottery I would go back to university and study something cool. Maybe I could do medicine and pretend to be Meredith Grey. I love Grey's Anatomy. But guts and stuff are pretty gross, and I hate hospital smell. Maybe I would get used to it though. But it's pretty hard getting into study medicine, I would have to do work experience and stuff. Or bribe someone. Does that work in English universities like it does on American TV shows? I would be a mature student too. Would I feel old? Would the other students realize? I do have quiet the baby face. Could I still go on student nights out or would I be the boring old one? I would also have the best flat *cue flat planning*. But then when people win the lottery there lives tend to go to shit. There are lots of documentaries about it. Would my parents get divorced? What would they do for the rest of their lives? Maybes boredom would make them do stupid stuff. I would love to help my brother out whilst he was at university. I could buy him a flat and pay his fees and buy him a car. But then what if he had too much money and too much spare time and ended up getting seriously into drugs? What if he drunk drove his car? Or just tried to show off speeding and crashed it and he died? I don't think I should buy my brother a car.

I need a haircut. I wish I had a friend who was a hairdresser and could do it for me. And a friend who is a tailor so they could tailor all my clothes. I need new clothes. But I need to lose weight first. I refuse to go up a size. My mam was really skinny when she was my age. How? If I'm two sizes bigger than she was then does that mean when I'm in my 50's I'm going to be two sizes bigger than she is now? I need to go to the gym tomorrow.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Thank Goodness - A Deodorant That Properly Works

I am one of the lucky few in London who are actually able to walk to work. It's great, I don't have to get on a cramped, smelly tube first thing in the morning. Halleluiah. I get to play my music in peace whilst I take a stroll over one of the most iconic structures in the world instead.

Except it doesn't usually work out like that. As I mentioned here, I massively struggle with mornings. So, of course, I am always running late. Thus, my calm walk into the office becomes a mad 20 minute sprint instead. And so I arrive a big, hot mess.

Not great. That, plus office air, plus dubious air conditioning, plus running around at work, plus lots of hot coffee is not the best combination. It does not make me the freshest of person, and quite frankly my old deodorant was just not cutting it.

So, I decided that I needed to try something new. I traded it in for Sure Maximum Protection. And thank goodness for that! It comes in a cream formula which is something I have never experienced before. It feels wetter than a spray or a traditional roll on and took a few goes before I learned the correct amount to apply, but I quite like that is a bit different. It emphasizes that it is something a bit more special. In terms of protection, it definitely does what it says on the tin (2x the protection of regular deodorant!). It keeps me dry and fresh and sweet smelling all day long. So far, I have only tried 'everyday fresh' which has quiet a strong scent, but can't wait to compare it to some others in the range too.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Night Owl

I am such a night time person. Through and through, without a doubt.

It is when I get my inspiration, my motivation and my best ideas.

It is not conducive to a 9 - 5 world. Every morning is a struggle. Every morning is a battle with my alarm clock ('can I get away with one more snooze?'). I literally minute swap. If I wear my glasses instead of my contacts today that's two more minutes in bed. My hair doesn't really need a wash today, it can last until tomorrow. An extra twenty minutes, yay!

My walk to work does go a fair way to wake me up. I can at least face talking to another human being by the time I get to the office! I grab a coffee and scan the morning news. I catch up with my co-workers. I check emails, I make my to-do list, I check the morning news again, I catch up with different co-workers. I grab another coffee. It is safe to say that I am not at my most productive for those first few hours of the day.

Then, typically, around 10pm I get a boost of energy and an urgency to get things done that has so far alluded me all day. When I should be winding down to get a good nights sleep, I become a flurry of activity. Cleaning, tidying, drafting blog posts, working on my project of the moment, exersicing, planning. All of which leaves me too wired to get a good nights sleep when I finally head to bed. Which does not help with my hating mornings!

Oh how I would love if work started just a couple of hours later. But then, it would end later. So I would go to sleep later. So I would get up later. So my 8am would be 11am, but wouldn't it feel like 8am still? But 11am is just so much more of a civilized time to get out of bed!

It's not all bad. According to this article, it means that I am 'more intelligent' (also, I love some of the imagery used in that article). Here is a less biased view as to what characterizes night owls vs. early risers, and also gives some reasons as to why I hate my alarm so much.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Four Legged Friends

Insanely cute. This video makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on a miserable Monday night.

When the mammy and daddy doggies come to help the little pups I swear it makes me tear up.

I would love a little furry friend - I don't have a very extensive pet history unfortunately.

My mam isn't particularly animal friendly, so despite mine and my brothers pleas, we only managed to wangle ourselves a rabbit and a few gerbils over the years. At university my flatmate adopted a massively floppy eared rabbit called Ruby who lived in her cage in our living room. After a trip to get her nails trimmed, we discovered that Ruby was actually a boy, and so we re-christened him Rupert. He was an expert at giving us frights in the middle of the night! We should have called him Houdini. His trick was escaping from his cage in the wee hours of the morning and running around the place, making us think we were being burgled on multiple occasions. And he was great at chewing through laptop cables and Iphone chargers. But we loved him.

One day, when I have a proper house, I will have an adorable four legged friend and I can't wait!

Friday, 9 January 2015

Harry Potter Love

I am a massive Harry Potter fan.

I have been a massive Harry Potter fan for a lot of years now. I remember waiting for the last couple of books to be released. The day before was like Christmas eve I was so excited! My wonderful Dad would go and que up outside our local supermarket so that he could get me one of the first copies at midnight. He would leave it outside my bedroom door, fresh for my reading first thing in the morning. I would then spend the whole day devouring the book, finishing the last two the very same day that I got them.

Maybe that Christmas eve feeling is why it is now my tradition to re-read the books for what must be the millionth time, every winter. That and castles and dragons and magic just makes Harry Potter the perfect to read on a dark, cold day, curled up on the couch with the fire blasting and a hot cup of tea.

10 Reasons for My Harry Potter Love:
  1. It is so British. I love this, it makes me proud.

  2. True relationships. The characters fight and fall out and disagree and get jealous but they are  family, they are always there for each other. True love. 

  3. They are so well written. Read them allowed, they flow so well. There are no gaps in the plot. Everything ties up, everything has a purpose and is so well planned out. You know that J.K Rowling had the ending all planned out right from the first book.

  4. The descriptions in the book are great; you feel like you have been to Hogwarts yourself and as though the characters are your friends (even without the films!). You can dive into these books and get lost in the story, forgetting everything else that has been going on in your life.

  5. It's a children's book that doesn't sugar coat life. Beloved characters die throughout, pets died, people are cruel. The main characters parents died at the start of the book. 

  6. The writing of the books grows with the characters. The first book sounds young as the characters are young. The final book is grown up feel as the characters are grown up.

  7. Powerful moral lessons. It's a great book for children to grow up reading. Harry Potter teaches equality, girl power, the right route vs the easy route, standing up for what you believe in even when your superiors are trying to push you down, there are causes worth dying for but none worth killing for, appearances can be deceiving, love concurs all... I could go on.

  8. Snape. Just thinking of Snape puts a lump in my throat. What a way to sacrifice everything.

  9. Neville. Forgetful, clumsy, bottom of the class Neville. Brilliant, loyal Neville. Fights so hard for what he believes in and shows just what determination can achieve.

  10. Wonderful, wise quotes such as:
There are all kinds of courage. It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live

If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals
In our dreams we enter a world that it truely our own
Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light

People find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right

I am going to feel so lost when I reach the end of the series.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Back to London

After two delicious weeks of being at home and being looked after my parents, it is time to head back to the big city.

It had been such a good, well needed, break. The beauty of Christmas time is that everyone comes home for it. I have got to see all of my family, spent time with my best friends and I have got plenty of lungs full of fresh sea air.

It is always sad saying goodbye and leaving the place that will always be home to me.

At the same time I am ready to get back into my own little flat and my own little life. I am looking forward to my super cosy double bed, choosing what I want to eat for dinner and when I want to eat it and of course catching up with friends.

I am not looking forward to reacquainting myself with my alarm clock and trying to remember what it is do for a living.

See you in a few hours London!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Afternoon Tea at Jesmond Dene House

For Christmas, one of the gifts we gave my Grandma was Afternoon Tea at the beautiful Jesmond Dene House in Newcastle.

Set in a grade II listed building, the venue has a really grand feel to it. It was especially lovely all decorated for Christmas.

Built in 1822 and designed by John Dobson (the architect for many iconic buildings and streets in the area) the house was originally home to the Mayor of Newcastle. Since then it has been a college, a civil defense establishment (many of the hidden tunnels still exist!), a seminary and a residential school. In 2005, after 18 months of refurbishment, it become the hotel and restaurant it is today.

The Menu was as follows:

Assorted Finger Sandwiches
Turkey, Cranberry & Stuffing
Coronation Egg Mayonnaise
Smoked Cheddar & Grape Chutney
Hot Smoked Salmon & Avocado

Spiced Fruit, Plain, Cheese
Clotted Cream & Home-made Jam

Selection of Pastries and Teas
Cranberry Macaroon
Mince Pie
Mint & Chocolate Truffle
Mulled Pear & Cinnamon Cheesecake Sundae

As a savory person, the cheese scones were the highlight for me. The perfect amount of cheesiness!

Even though there was five of us we only ordered food for four people. We had heard that although the portions may look small on first appearance, they soon fill you up. It is a good job we did, even with an extra person we ended up taking a doggy bag of left overs home.

I was impressed. Next time, I would love to go there for dinner.