Month: May 2016

My latest obsession – printed maxi dresses

I love a maxi dress, but clingy jersey ones generally aren’t flattering unless you’re stick thin with no lumps or bumps and seamless underwear. Even worse if they’re plain.

I’ve (fairly) recently discovered an alternative – printed dresses in flowing fabrics like cheesecloth, viscose and chiffon. When I say discovered, it’s not like I created them with my own fair hands or anything! And I’m sure they’ve always been around, just that I’ve never noticed them before.

My first purchase was this Mango one from the ASOS sale.

My Mom’s husband called me Hiawatha. That’s fine by me. I love the ethniticty of the print, the boho string ties and the split at the front. The colours are slightly more muted IRL. I’ve worn it with flat beige biker boots, lace up block heel suede platform boots and pointed toe t-bar flats. It will be great with sandals. It doesn’t need ironing (the best bit!), it comes out of the washing machine all crinkled and just dries that way (the beauty of cheesecloth). It’s perfection in a dress.

Next is this dress of dreams from ASOS.

The print is just everything. It’s hippy, gypsy, rock and roll cool, I adore it. The length of the sleeves is perfect. The length is perfect. The swishy chiffon fabric with a slinky lining is perfect (again no ironing). Unfortunately the dress itself isn’t perfect. It’s a button through dress. Button through dresses have a habit of gaping when you sit down, showing bits of tummy and tits that you’d rather keep covered. Buttons also pop open unexpectedly. So, after 3 wears, I’ve decided this one needs some work. It needs some kind of lining stitching on the inside of the button band so there is no flesh flashing when I sit. It also needs the button holes tightening with a couple of stitches. I need to work out how to make this right, because I already miss wearing it (in spite of the fact one of my close friends called me Margot from “To the Manor Born” when I wore it out. For the younger readers or those outside of the UK, it’s a late 70s TV comedy about an aristocratic couple. It’s not a compliment. Fashion heathen.)

Finally, this one from Matalan.

It does need ironing (boo). I wasn’t sure if it was a bit safe and middle aged so I questioned the husband who said it was. In an act of defiance I wore it anyway! It has high splits at either side and a blouson waistband. Toughened up with some studded leather ankle boots and a chunky necklace I think it worked. I’ll also be pairing it with my knee length gladiator sandals for summer (if it ever comes back). I love the colours and it was a veritable bargain (just £16 and I had a 20% off voucher).

I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more dresses of this style, and will be wearing these a lot this summer!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

So Cheryl got a new tattoo…

The media coverage around Cheryl Tweedy Cole Fernandez-Versini toilet attendant thug * and her new tattoo made me chuckle.

First reaction – “OMG! Cheryl has a new tattoo on her cleavage, and we were so busy obsessing over her first official public appearance with the One Directioner in Cannes that we didn’t even notice!”

(in spite of the fact she was wearing a very low cut jumpsuit)

Cheryl cleavage tattoo

Second reaction – “What does Cheryl’s tattoo mean? Reports tell us it’s a Buddhist symbol for enlightenment, which would reflect her personal life, the breakdown of her second marriage, and her new relationship with afore mentioned One Directioner”

Or…

…maybe she just liked it?

Y’know, thought it would be a cool place to get a tattoo and found a design that would look nice.

Radical, I know.

People get way too caught up in the meaning behind tattoos.

Yes, it’s nice if they have a story and mean something to you. People get tattooed to commemorate times, places, events and people. They get tattooed to remember someone or to heal a physical or mental wound. And that’s great.

But it’s also OK to pick a design just because you like it. Just because it’s pretty.

What do your tattoos mean

I have “Dad” tattooed on my right hip. I did it last year because I wanted my Dad to know what he means to me while he’s still here, rather than waiting and getting a memorial tattoo when he’s not. That’s important and personal.

I also have a black rose on my left shoulder that I had done purely because I thought it would look lovely. It’s not personal but it’s still important.

Without casting aspersions on Cheryl, she has a bottom full of pink roses. Very well done pink roses, granted.

Cheryl bottom rose tattoo

But, with that in mind, does she really seem the type of person to adorn herself with a Buddhist spiritual symbol?

No.

And that’s perfectly fine.

I have another tattoo appointment tomorrow. I’m getting a flower mandala on the inside of my upper arm. Does it hold any personal meaning? Nope! But it will look pretty as hell!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

*I’m only teasing about Cheryl’s name and past, I actually quite like her. Well, as much as you can like someone who’s so pretty you actually want to cry when you see yourself in comparison 😉

Wanting it all

I wrote a post last year about being overcommitted in terms of time and events and money. It was a note to myself to not let it happen again this year.

Yet, here we are, 5 months into 2016, and our calendar is as full as ever. And it’s pretty much my fault.

I most definitely suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out). I want to do everything, see everything and be everywhere. This has become magnified since my Dad’s illness was diagnosed, and only escalates as time goes on.

FOMO

I think we live in a want it all society these days. When I was younger travel was less easy to arrange, flights were more expensive. High Street shops would carry the same stock for weeks on end. There was no internet, or online shopping, or even Sunday and late night shopping! Eating out was an every so often treat we used to get dressed up for and takeaways might happen once every couple of months.

(I’m aware this is turning into a “when I were a lass” diatribe, which is not my intention at all!)

The point I’m trying to make is how different things are now. The flight for my trip to Lyon and back cost less than £100. A weekday train ticket to London for work is more than that! Stores get deliveries of new ranges on a weekly if not daily basis and the number of items they stock and supply online is into the thousands. Next day, or even same day, delivery means not having to wait. Popping to the pub for a bite to eat and a drink after work is no big deal, and a takeaway at least once a week is more or less an expectation. Sites like Groupon and Wowcher offer cut price hotel stays. Websites like Red Letter Days enable people to fly a plane, drive a tank or go in a hot air balloon. All of these things are out there, seemingly for the taking, and we’re bombarded with them through email, advertising and the media.

Social media has a big impact on the want it all society. There have been studies on the mental impact it can have when we’re looking at photographs of perfect people on perfect holidays in perfect bikinis when we’re sitting at home in our scruffs and unwashed hair watching Friends on repeat. The trouble is, in an age where we can follow people we’ve never met on Instagram and Twitter, our minds and expectations aren’t just confined to the realms of what our families and friends are doing. We’re seeing people our age with what we perceive to be better lives than we have. We have an insight into the worlds of people we probably wouldn’t mix with or even meet in real life. And it magnifies FOMO.

Me? I’m a realist. I know that I’m never going to have the gorgeous bronzed bikini body because I like food too much. I’m never going to be a constant traveller because I have a life at home with family to think about and a mortgage to pay and a car to run. I can’t just give up life and follow my dreams. I’m never going to be posting pictures of fancy hotels and fancy restaurants serving fancy foods because that’s not my comfort zone; I’m too down to earth and clumsy to feel at home anywhere with fine china or silver service!

But it doesn’t stop me wanting the most out of my own life, within the realms of what I know is possible for me. Which is why I never say no to a gig I want to go to, in case I don’t get chance to see the band again. Or why I’m always pushing for a city break or a holiday or a day out to soak up everything that’s out there to see. Or why I cave when husband mentions takeaway, even mid week, because food is such a joy and a pleasure and I love eating more than I love being the skinny minnie I was when I was 20 (damnit!)

I’m lucky that I have disposable income to do (most of) the things I want in life. It hasn’t been handed to me on a plate though. I have studied and worked to reach this point, as has the husband. We’ve also made conscious life decisions that facilitate our lifestyle. We don’t want children and we don’t live in a big house. We choose life over possessions (apart from shoes. Because, well, shoes!)

I also control my expectations, to a certain extent, by not overexposing myself to social media accounts of people who will make me question my own life. As a rule I don’t follow aspirational blogs or instagram accounts with millions of followers, because they’re unrealistic. I don’t see them as something to aim for, I see them as a way for me to belittle myself and my own happiness. Which I really don’t need, thank you very much! It’s not being jealous, it’s just being truthful to my own mind.

I’d much rather read about someone living a real life that’s similar to mine, with all it’s failings and foibles. A funny story about falling over. A day out at the UK seaside. A new pair of shoes from New Look or Primark. Look at Instagram photos of pretty flowers in a local park or a bright Rimmel nail varnish.

On that note I will stop my waffling and look forward to all the nice things I have coming up in the next few weeks whilst most definitely NOT thinking about things I’d like to be doing but can’t. Because really, what’s the point? Whilst I’m engulfed in FOMO about something, I’m AMO (actually missing out) on the things happening in the moment.

(P.s, if you fancy giving my realistic Instagram account a follow, click here!)

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Twitter chat #latenightbloggers

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read, like or comment on yesterday’s post. It’s astounding how kind words and actions from people you’ve never met can have a profound impact. And whilst it’s awful to think of anyone going through the physical and emotional pain I feel, it’s comforting to know I’m not alone. I know that people will be what get me through the rest of Dad’s illness, and when he’s not here anymore. And it’s more than I can say I’ve had from some so called friends. So thank you again.

On the subject of talking to strangers on the internet, today I want to give a little plug to a Twitter chat I get involved in on Wednesday nights. I’m a relative newbie to Twitter, having only had an account for just over a year. I always said I didn’t “get” Twitter, but then started a job where social media comes under my remit so I figured I’d better get involved! Sometimes it feels very much like talking to yourself, and it bugs the bejesus out of me when you reply to a tweet from a more established blogger and they don’t acknowledge it (I’m not talking millions of followers here, where they wouldn’t see your message, just those who are relatively popular but seem to have an inflated sense of self importance). I think basic manners should apply everywhere; in real life or the virtual world. Anyway, that’s a rant for another day…

Back to Twitter chats. Many of them are so large and well established, with the same ol’ people talking to each other, that it can feel difficult or pointless to get involved. Plus the timings often aren’t great for me – I might be driving home from work or sleeping in (hello weekend!) But when Tina from TeaisforTina started her #latenightbloggers chat, it was a great fit.

Late Night Bloggers

Taking place between 9pm and 10pm on a Wednesday, it’s fairly small as it’s fairly new, everyone is incredibly friendly and chatty, plus Tina really makes an effort to include everyone, reply to tweets and retweet. She’s also a blog sweetie too, and always drops by with some nice words and comments.

Topics so far have covered a range of things from shopping to photography to last week’s confidence subject (which was very eye opening I think, certainly from a personal point of view) and it really feels like what you have to say matters.

This week’s subject is superpowers and superheroes! I’m not too sure how much I’ll have to contribute on that one, but I’ll be joining anyway to say hello to the lovely ladies (and occasional gent) who take time out of their day to contribute.

So, if you’re looking for a friendly, down to earth, engaging and not overwhelming Twitter chat and you’re free at 9pm on Wednesdays, why not get involved? Just search for #latenightbloggers for all the details and to catch up on previous topics (oh, and it’s not just for bloggers, anyone can join in).

You can also follow the LateNightBloggers account on Twitter here.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Living with dying

This is a post I never wanted to face up to writing. Despite knowing the time would come, I of course hoped it wouldn’t. Naively, ignorantly, optimistically hoping something would change.

This is not an attention seeking post, or an attempt to bum anyone out. If you’re feeling emotionally fragile or only drop by for the fun stuff then I won’t be offended if you don’t read on.

2 years ago, about now, my Dad started passing blood when he went to the loo. Not being one to neglect these things, he went to his doctor, who referred him to the “2 week clinic”. A cancer doctor.

Dad researched the internet (as we all do these days) and feared it may be bladder cancer. When he went to the clinic he was told there was an issue with his prostate. Ironically the passing of blood was completely unrelated, a one off.

My only knowledge of prostate cancer up to that point was:

a) It’s very treatable

b) It’s an “old man’s” disease.

My Dad was just 57.

As for the first point, yes it is very treatable. Mortality rates from prostate cancer are difficult to measure, because many older men who are diagnosed with it will, ultimately, die from something else rather than the cancer – maybe old age, or a heart attack.

But somehow my Dad, at the age of 57 and with no previous symptoms ever, had stage 4 prostate cancer. Inoperable. Too far gone to treat, and with no possible cure. It had already spread out of his prostate and into his bones. The only options were treatments to halt the growth, the spread, the virility with which it was attacking his body.

He’s had two years of treatments; hormone therapy, injections, radiotherapy and chemo. And now there are no treatments left. Only pain management. Treatments that will ease the pain that the cancer will cause in his bones.

Living with Dying

The head fuck of all this is that my Dad doesn’t look or seem ill. He hasn’t lost weight, stopped going out, become immobile or lost his appetite. He’s travelled to Greece, Italy, Cambodia and Vietnam since his diagnosis. He’s currently having a brand new kitchen fitted. He still tells me off for drinking too much and regales me with tales of what he’s been eating for dinner. He still sees friends and goes greyhound racing. The only problems he’s had have been as a result of the medication he’s been taking.

When he was diagnosed the realisation was almost too much to bear. The thought of finality and an end. Of knowing what’s to come. Cancer is a horrible disease, and I saw what it did to my Grandad, the physical effect it had on a once strong man. It’s a scary prospect.

But then, for a while, cancer became a word again; something that was there but we couldn’t see it. We lived from month to month with Dad going for blood tests to see how the medication was working. We breathed a sigh of relief and wept with joy when the results were good. We cried with sadness and despair when results were bad and yet another treatment option was exhausted. And now there will be no good results. There are no more potential highs to combat the crippling woes.

I’m scared. I’m so fucking scared. I’m scared for my Dad – I know he hates pain and fears what’s to come. I’m scared for his wife, who he’s only been married to for 5 years. She’s the same age as my husband, and far too young to be widowed. They were supposed to have a really nice life together, a long life, a happy retirement for my Dad filled with travel and days out and all the life affirming things they love to do together.

And I’m scared for me. I’m scared of how I’ll cope. If I’ll cope. I have no idea how to comprehend the fact that he’s not going to be here. That I can’t phone him up to talk about my holiday. To not see the animation in his face as he describes a meal he’s had at a restaurant.

My husband has told me on many occasions that at least this way I get to spend time with my Dad, not leave anything left unsaid, make memories that will carry me through the times we’re not together. And I know that’s true. But I wonder if sudden death is easier, for everyone? Because grieving for someone who is still very much alive is so difficult. And I don’t know how my Dad even gets out of bed in the morning, living with the knowledge of what’s going on. Living with dying.

In the UK tests for prostate cancer aren’t currently done on a routine basis, they have to be requested from the GP. As far as I can tell, they’re only available to men over 50, unless there is a significant indication that there may be a problem. If you know someone over 50, maybe mention this to them and suggest they think about a test.

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

Infinity Dreams Award

I have been invited by Renna at Renna’s Discoveries to tell you about myself in the Infinity Dream Awards.Infinity Dreams Award

I’ve only just “discovered” Renna’s blog (geddit!) but it’s full of nice things she finds in every day life.

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you for this award
  • give us 11 facts about you.
  • answer 11 questions the blogger who tagged you asked.
  • make 11 questions for the bloggers you going to tag.
  • And tag other bloggers.

Here goes!

11 facts about me

  1. I have 4 less teeth than the average adult, as there wasn’t enough space and I had to have them taken out when I was 12 (people who know me find it hard to believe that my mouth wasn’t big enough!)
  2. I didn’t have my first kiss until I was 16.
  3. I kind of believe in magic. I know it’s not supposed to be real, but c’mon! I’ve seen Dynamo live and there’s some sorcery type schizzle going on there!
  4. I have two small scars on my stomach from wearing a Slendertone exercise belt for too long.
  5. Half of my back is tattooed.
  6. I have a phobia of baked beans.
  7. I don’t have a middle name.
  8. I always cut my own hair.
  9. I have a severe dust allergy.
  10. My right nipple is pierced.
  11. I was at my Mom and Dad’s wedding (which was a pretty big deal in those days) and I’ve since been bridesmaid to both of them as they’ve married other people.

Here are Renna’s 11 questions for me:

1. What’s your favourite breakfast?
I don’t really love traditional breakfast stuff, so I’d go for something like a Mexican breakfast burrito, or cheese and onion on toast with tinned tomatoes.

2. What kind of exercise do you do in the week?
Not much! I’ve been walking on my lunch hour a couple of times recently and I go to the gym sporadically. Very sporadically.

3. Do you have any pets currently, or have you ever had pets?
I don’t have any pets as the upkeep would be too much for me, I’m not a great looker afterer! I had multiple goldfish when I was a little girl, but they kept dying (including one that jumped out of the bowl and fried in the early morning sun on the windowsill!) And I had a rabbit for a day but my Dad made us take it back because he said the foxes would get it.

4. What would you like to achieve in the next 6 months?
Honestly, I’m pretty ok with how things are, I don’t really have any short term ambitions. I have a lot of stuff going on in my personal life right now, so that’s all my brain can cope with.

5. Give us a story from one of your best holidays abroad.
Oh, so many! The first one that comes to mind is when I was in our favourite place in Greece with my husband for our 5th wedding anniversary and we cooked breakfast together and ate it on the top floor balcony of our apartment with a bottle of champagne. It doesn’t sound much but the memory never fails to make me smile and give me goosebumps. It was just perfect. The other one would be seeing Motley Crue perform outdoors on Sunset Strip in Hollywood complete with Tommy Lee’s drum rollercoaster.

6. What books are you reading currently?
I can only read one book at a time. I’m reading Life Lessons from the East End by Danny Dyer.

7. What’s the best thing on TV at the moment?
I don’t watch much TV. I prefer box sets, but I’m always behind! My favourite ever series were Californication and Sons of Anarchy. Both incredibly addictive.

8. Do you have a restaurant recommendation that you can share?
My favourite restaurant is the Moroccan where I live. It’s called La Fibule and it’s amazing; I’ve never had a bad meal there. Their tagines and mussels and…well…everything. Divine. Failing that, Aggeliki’s in Stoupa,on the Greek Mainland (one of my favourite places in the world). Their lamb kleftiko is to die for.

9. Is there something you would really like to do, but don’t know if its even possible. ie. I would like to walk from Brighton to Edinburgh.
I can’t think of anything. I have lots of stuff in life I want to do, mainly travel related, but I don’t feel the need to push myself to extremes because I know my own limits (and they’re not very big!)

10. What are you doing at 5.30pm during the week?
Logging off my computer and getting ready for my 30 mile drive home.

11.  What is your most viewed blog post?

One I wrote about Transgender Equality when the press reported on Bruce Jenner’s gender reassignment surgery last year.

And here are my questions!

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
What is the top destination on your travel bucket list?
Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
What’s your earliest childhood memory?
What’s your dream job?
What’s your biggest regret in life so far?
Who would you like to meet – dead or alive?
If you could change one thing about your appearance, what would it be?
Have you ever fallen over in public?
Do you have a celebrity crush, and who are they?
What’s your favourite film?

Finally, my 11 nominations:
Estellosaurus
Toulou89
Tea is for Tina
Closing Winter
A Beautiful Thing
Northern-blood
The Undateable Girl’s Diary
Tea and takeaways
Coffee & Bubbles
Hannah’s Cloud 9
Skinny Jeans & Jelly Beans

And of course anyone else who’d like to get involved; let me know if you do by leaving me a comment.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Bedroom inspiration

Whenever I get back from staying in a hotel, I’m always really dissatisfied with my own bedroom. I know hotel rooms aren’t reality but it doesn’t stop me wanting a bedroom makeover!

Probably the easiest and cheapest way to revamp your bedroom is with new bed linen. So when Yorkshire Linens contacted me about their bedding, it was like the stars aligned (or they’d been inside my head!) I’ve been having a look around for some inspiration to jazz up my own bedroom, and picked out some favourites. I’d actually never heard of them prior to their email, but  Yorkshire Linens duvet covers are great, with something for all tastes, and the prices are really good.

This one is really cute, with lots of different colours you could pick out as accents in the room

Yorkshire Linen Love duvet cover

I like the idea of an Eastern style bedroom with lanterns and throws

Yorkshire Linen elephant duvet cover

Same with this one, I think it would work well in a Moroccan theme

Yorkshire Linen ethnic duvet cover

This is really cheery for spring and summer in an all white room

Yorkshire Linen bright stripe duvet cover

And this is very opulent (although a little bit impractical for me I think!)

Yorkshire Linen grey matt satin duvet cover

Now on to Asda’s George at Home range, which I’ve bought from before and always been happy with.

Traditional tattoo print – say no more!

George duvet cover tattoo

And this is just stunning, I love the colours and print

George geisha duvet cover

Finally to Matalan, again a first stop of mine for homewares.

Leopard print, because, leopard print!

Matalan leopard print duvet

More leopard print, because, leopard print!

Matalan bright leopard print duvet

I like the colours in this and the way it’s styled with grey accents.

Matalan grey and yellow blossom

My bedroom actually needs a complete overhaul; walls stripped, floors stripped, THE LOT, so I can’t invest at the mo, but it’s good to know what’s out there so I can start planning an overall look.

And, of course, when I finally get round to it, there’ll be more interior inspo images and photos of the end result!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

A trip to Wales and a stay at the River Café in Glasbury

About 5 years ago the husband and I were invited to a wedding just over the Welsh border. The bride and groom included a list of accommodation which was local to the wedding venue, which is how we found the River Café.

Situated in Glasbury on Wye, it sits in an enviable position on the river, with a large decking area looking over the water, a well recommended restaurant and just 5 rooms available on a B&B basis. We were so taken with our stay, albeit brief, that we said we’d love to go back another time and just chill out.

That time was this weekend.

Setting off early (for us!) on Saturday morning in the bright sunshine we drove through country lanes and small towns, meandering down the west of England towards Wales. First stop was Hay on Wye, famous for it’s literary festival happening in a couple of weeks. Hay has a proliferation of bookshops and pretty little streets which were decorated with brightly coloured bunting.

We had a little wander round and a mooch around a small vintage market. How cool is the stuff on this stall?

Hay on Wye vintage stall

Hay Castle was built in the 12th Century. It’s not open to visitors, although there is a restoration project planned.

Then on to Glasbury on Wye. The River Café is run alongside Wye Valley Canoes which, unsurprisingly, is a canoe centre! They hire out single and double kayaks and canoes, as well as mountain bikes, tandems, and lambretta scooters! As I mentioned, there’s direct access to the river so it’s easy to get going, and the team at Wye Valley will come and collect you and your canoe from wherever you end up, if you want them to. Isn’t that fab? You could row down to Hay, have some lunch and then get delivered back to Glasbury by road rather than having to go against the tide to get back.

We had nothing as energetic in mind. In fact we wanted to do nothing apart from sit on the riverside deck and relax. Here’s the view of the back decked area, from the other side of the river. Nice, eh?

View of River Cafe Glasbury

Ironically we stayed in the same room this time around as when we were last there 5 years ago. The rooms are all simply decorated with white walls and simple furnishings; nothing fussy or chintzy.

Outside River Cafe Glasbury

It was lovely to open the windows and hear the birds tweeting while we unpacked our bits and pieces. A comfortable bed, delicious pillows and the softest duvet made for a great night’s sleep, and the bright airy bathroom with it’s walk in powerful shower was a great way to start the morning.

And so we spent Saturday afternoon sitting outside and reading with a couple of drinks, which was non too shabby with these peaceful river views.

Then showered and changed for dinner (I had chicken terrine to start, confit duck for main, and cherry cheesecake for dessert; all real tummy pleasers!) We were in bed ridiculously early for a Saturday night, no doubt exhausted from all that doing nothing in the fresh air! And Sunday started with a fabulous freshly cooked breakfast with tea and toast and never ending freshly pressed cloudy apple juice.

There’s plenty to do in the surrounding area, with the Elan Valley and Brecon Beacons National Park both being a short drive away. We quite fancied doing the Waterfall Walk but hadn’t come prepared (TripAdvisor reviews recommend waterproofs and sturdy shoes to walk behind the waterfall at Syn ) so that’s one for another time.

It was a lovely relaxing change of scenery, and I would highly recommend the River Café – either to stay or to eat – if you’re ever in the area (do book a table in advance though, as the restaurant gets very busy).

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

A girl can never have too many pairs of shoes…

…so what’s a girl to do when H&M puts sale temptation in her way?

Buy, of course!

A girl can never have too many pairs of shoes

Starting with these boots, which aren’t exactly seasonal right now, but are:
a) a veritable bargain (real suede, for just £15!)
b) neutral
c) timeless

H&M tan suede platform boots

And then, their non identical twin, in the black, which are also:
a) a veritable bargain (real suede, for just £15!)
b) neutral
c) timeless

H&M black suede platform boots

And finally, leopard print ankle strap platforms, which need no explanation, but are:
a) a very veritable bargain (only £12!)
b) neutral (you can wear leopard with anything, honest!)
c) my favourite colour (what do you mean leopard print isn’t a colour?)

H&M leopard print ankle strap platform heels

All still available on the H&M website, if anyone fancies new foot furniture.

You are welcome.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

A hair revelation – the humble paddlebrush!

I’m not sure whether my arms aren’t long enough (!!) but I’ve never been able to master a blowdry. I get all of a tangle, and I can’t reach the back of my head, and the fact that I’m looking at the reflection of my limbs as opposed to the reality of where they are confuses me (yes I know I’m supposed to be a grown adult).

I’m also not very patient and, in truth, can’t be bothered with the length of time it would take to do after each wash.

As a result, straighteners are my friend. It means that I can just rough dry my hair on full heat as quickly as possible, embracing all it’s glorious frizziness, and then make it look like it’s not a pile of twigs I’ve attached to my head through the wonder of GHDs.

The only exception to this is when I’m on holiday, because it’s warm enough for my hair to dry quickly which creates rather lovely if wild and tempestuous wavy curls. The kind that work when you’re strolling round the beach wearing drapey dresses and sandals, but don’t work in real life in an office in the middle of an industrial estate.

So, how did this paddlebrush hair revelation come about? Honestly, it was as a result of me not being very great at being a girl. Again. I couldn’t find my own hairbrush. So I used the husband’s instead.

At this juncture I should point out that the husband is better at girls stuff than I am. Not wearing a dress and heels, or anything like that. But looking after himself and his appearance. He has a regular skin routine. He uses intensive conditioner and hair products. The background to that is that he has beautiful long surfy wavy blonde hair which is very thick and was getting tangled after washing, so his hairdresser suggested he buy a paddlebrush (oh yes, that’s another thing he’s better than me at – he goes to the hairdresser. I don’t). She said it would be kinder to his hair than combing when wet, and the padded bristle base would remove pressure on his head.

So, back to me using it. As I said, I couldn’t find my own so thought I’d make do with his. And the result was smooth hair that only needed straightening a little bit. I assumed it was just a fluke, so tried it a couple more times. The result was the same. Straight and smooth hair with a bit of oomph and bounce.

Unstraightened hair

I now very very rarely straighten my hair. In fact the husband uses the straighteners more than I do (surprise!) I haven’t adopted any technique, or spent any time drying in any particular way. I do exactly the same as previously; point the hairdryer and brush through.

Pretty chuffed tbh!

To finish, at risk of making the husband sound like a whimsical flaxen haired book character, he’s 6’2″, broad shouldered, with muscly arms and 2 full sleeve tattoos. It just so happens that he takes care of himself like a girl. And there’s nothing at all wrong with that.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x