Wednesday, 27 November 2013

My 24th birthday :)

Nearly two weeks ago now I was nudged my mid-20s and  turned the grand old age of 24.
 I had a really lovely long birthday weekend and it was just what I need after a few days of feeling a bit down.

Pressies to myself ...
Yankee candle advent calendar
Enrapture curler (more to come on that another day)

Lovely pressies from family and friends, including tickets to see Taylor Swift next year! Also got the practical present of an ‘Air Floss’ (yep yep, boring but useful!). And girly things like a hair dryer (works so quickly!), OPI, tan bag, oversized scarf. And  some cash, books and gift cards too.

Obligatory birthday selfie. I cracked out a new red lippie I bought during that week. Not amazing lasting power but it was a nice shade, easy to apply and didn't look awful when it had worn off a little. So I'll put up with re-applying as needed.

I took the Friday off work, as that was my actual birthday, and headed into London for a day of fun with the boyf :) We headed to the Breakfast Club (the one near Liverpool St station) for an early lunch and I had the American breakfast which was delicious. I really like this place but I think it's better during the week, it feels a bit too 'trendy' for me at the weekend.

Please excuse my funny pose, it was bloody freezing!

With full stomachs we then toddled down to the Tower of London where we had a very entertaining tour with one of the Beefeaters. I have been before but not since I was at school so it was good to go back. I love all that sort of history.

After our daytime activities Mark surprised me with dinner and cocktails at a French restaurant and finally by booking tickets for us to go and see...Matilda!! I'd heard great reviews of the show from friends and really wanted to see it so this was the perfect choice! It was amazing - the kiddy actors, the songs and the staging (which you can see a sneak peek of below!). I would definitely recommend it as the next one to see if you like musicals.

And that was the end of my actual birthday! I was exhausted and fell asleep on the train home. What a finish!

On Saturday night I went to a friends house and we had a yummy home-cooked mexican feast as well as prosecco and cocktails (thanks Emma!), before heading out to a couple of bars in town. It was a really fun girly evening and you can see me looking a little bleary-eyed in the photo below!

My parents took me and Mark out for a really yummy Sunday lunch at a nice country pub the next day as I hadn't seen them very much on my birthday. 3 courses. Done :)
And I booked Monday off work too and went for (another) lunch with Dad and my step-mum.

So there you go. Reading it back it seems like I really dragged out this birthday!

I had a really lovely weekend though and Mark, my parents and my friends all made me feel very loved :) And I didn't even mind getting older.

Turning 25 might be a different story though...

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Being Lonely

Get back to where you once belong.

Today I feel down.

I think my sad day has been sparked by the haircut I had yesterday. I hate it. I thought I might like it more once I’d washed and styled it myself but sadly not. I actually felt like crying about it this morning, which sounds ridiculous and I managed to pull myself together before that happened. Yes, it sounds so vain to be so upset about your hair. Which grows back. But I am going to hedge my bets and say that if you’re reading this blog then you probably sympathise at least slightly. My feeling of hair inadequacy was not helped by seeing three girls on the tube to work this morning who all had lovely hair which resembled the style I’d actually wanted. Having had such long hair, it has truly been chopped. It’s too short, which I could handle, but the layers and shaping that have been put into it are just not what I wanted and will take ages to grow out. It just isn't ‘me’. All my ombre/balayage colour has also been cut out so I've currently got a very boring mop of hair on my head. And this is timed brilliantly with it being my birthday later this week. Hello crappy hair in birthday photos.


So like I said, the hair drama seems to have sparked a rollercoaster of sadness today. Mostly related to feeling lonely.

I have good friends, a lovely boyfriend and a supportive family and I enjoy my own company, but I still feel lonely. Like I’m missing something in terms of relationships with others. And maybe this has been highlighted to me by my aforementioned upcoming birthday celebrations?

All of my friends are pretty much ‘best friends’ if that makes sense. I have close friends from school and university who I love, but not many other friends. I work in a small, male-dominated environment where few people are close to my age. And aside from work, I’m not sure how you make friends as an adult? Join a club? Find a hobby?

Like most people, I blog because I enjoy writing, I like keeping an online diary and I wanted to chat to people who like the same things as me. The last point is an interesting one though. I know many bloggers and youtubers began their channel or blog because they wanted to talk about make up/cosmetics/fashion etc with other people who were also passionate about the same things. (And to avoid boring everyone in ‘real life’ with these topics). When asked what the best thing about blogging is, most people say it’s all the people they've met or connected with and the friends they've made through it. And I think that’s a really lovely thing.

But the internet can also be a very lonely place.

When everyone else is tagging each other in posts, blogging about their latest meet up or @replying each other about normal life things you sometimes can’t help but think...I am instagramming my ever-so-yummy looking lunch and wittering on about my latest sale bargain to absolutely no one.

There are girls who I chat to every now and again online, and they all seem lovely. But for some reason it’s never really ‘clicked’ for me making actual friends on here, and I've not built any substantial links with people. This isn't to say woe is me, and probably I just need to put myself out there a bit more. After all, everyone I have spoken to seems genuinely very nice.

But I’m often left wondering if maybe I’m not someone who makes friends easily. And why? Because I do try!

Please reassure me I’m not the only 20-something who feels lonely? Oh, and also that my terrible head of hair will grow. Preferably into something less terrible.

(Apologies for the change in tone on my blog today. This is probably the first truly personal post I've written).
Finally...the image above is from If it belongs to you then please let me know and I'll remove/credit as appropriate. And yes, I know, this girl has perfect hair. Sigh.

The Week

What I wore: Yes actual colour for once! ; What I bought: Too much!

My Mon-Fri last week was pretty much just work and some dedicated cross-trainer/exercise time. Mark was away at a course for the week so I didn't see him at all. I had some extra reports etc going on at work so that kept me pretty busy.

On Saturday I went for lunch at Zizzi’s, where I have eaten in ages, and it was nice but took absolutely forever between courses and to get the bill. I hate that when you’re all done and ready to leave and there’s no one in sight to ask for the bill. The food was nice, but there is just something about that restaurant that puts me off.

I then went to London with my boyfriend and 2 friends to the ITV studios to watch All Star Family Fortunes being filmed. One was a corrie special but in the other I got to see the Kimberley Walsh in the flesh (yes, as attractive as on tv!). Not to mention the lovely Vernon Kay who was highly entertaining.

Sunday morning was really nice, we got up and went and sat downstairs in pjs and under a cosy blanket to watch Saturday’s X factor, then the remembrance parade at the Cenotaph. Then after that I was a football widow once more as our little town was actual playing a bigger team and was broadcast live on ITV1. Very happy boyfriend. So I went a did a bit more shopping (after saying I wouldn't...) then headed home for a Sunday roast and the final episode of Downton Abbey. I keep telling myself I’m buying 'staples' when I’m shopping these last couple of weeks, which is better than buying toot, but still money being spent. I opened up a savings account too though in the hope it might facilitate me actually saving money.... we'll see!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Quick spot of online shopping

I think I've bought more things this last two weeks than I have in one go for months! I really needed a few staples for work and casual now that it's turning colder. Here are the few bits I ordered online earlier this week, and the rest will pop up here soon I'm sure!

I've had my eye on this heart print New Look shirt for a couple of weeks but it's always out of stock in the shops and online. I saw it come back in stock briefly though so added it to my basket and checked out immediately! It's a perfect fit, although I haven't actually worn it to work yet as it arrived quite crumpled and I've been too lazy to get the iron out this week.

This belt was also from New Look, just a cheapy faux leather one for about £3. A;; my other belt are tan coloured, so I thought I could do with a black one.

Finally the boots. This has been a long and arduous search, which I'm not sure is actually over. I wanted some black ankle boots (mainly for work, although I want some which fit the same description for casual...but I don't want them to be the same boots. Make sense?), not flat but with an everyday heel. And not an I-take-taxis-everywhere-and-drive-to-work sort of everyday heel. An actual commuting sort of everyday heel. Well I have searched basically everywhere and couldn't find a single pair that weren't too high. If you have any suggestions please fire them my way! Anyway, I found these on ASOS last week after one of their offer emails popped into my inbox. I'd had my eye on them before as a 'maybe' but they're not real leather and were £40, which I think is silly. However, down to £24 and back in stock, I bought them. They're actually really comfy and perfect for what I was looking for. But the quality isn't amazing and they would not have been worth £40. I am still on the hunt though, because I really wanted to pay a bit more for real leather ones that would last. I'm singing the praises of these now, but I bet after a month of tube use they'll be all scuffed up in a plastic unsalvageable kind of way.

What have you been buying lately?

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Week

Here's what I've been up to. How about you?

{Insert completely non-spectacular looking photo of firework!}

So last week was quite a nice one. I felt a bit off-kilter at the beginning but got it back on track and had a good end-week and weekend :)

Monday and Tuesday were major train disruption due to the storm and I had to work from home as all trains on my line to London were cancelled. Actually, I had to work from my boyfriend's home as that's where I'd stayed Sunday night. And he had to do the same. Cue too much time spent together in one small room, trying to do completely different things. Once I got back to work I spent the rest of the week playing catchup for my lack of at-home productivity. The willing was there, but it's just not so easy to work when you're a Windows girl using your boyfriend's Mac, have no access to your work files and have to listen to techy speak on the other side of the room. To-do list was all ticked off by Friday home time though. Win.

I love Halloween so I got thoroughly into the spirit this week. On Wednesday I went to a fright night type thing at a castle ruins near where I live. It was sort of walking dead/undead virus themed and I screamed. A lot. In hindsight it's such a weird concept, paying to be terrified. But it was really good fun! Then just a scary film night in on Thursday. I also did the obligatory pumpkin carving and baked some gingerbread vampire bats to take in to work.

Friday was a definite food day at work. I am the only female in my office and those boys are a bad influence! I was very impressed with Wasabi at lunch though. Have never been before but I got a noodle/chicken tub and was really impressed at the amount of tasty food you get. A fiver well-spent. Oh and I finished off the evening by eating lots of leftover Halloween sweets in front of the tv... May have cancelled out the session I did on the cross-trainer beforehand.

I was a football widow on Saturday so took myself off to do some shopping. I could have gone with friends but sometimes you just fancy a bit of solitary retail indulging. My debit card took a little bit of a hit in H&M and Zara but I had wanted to treat myself a bit and got some staples, so all is justified. I even bought a few Christmas presents and they're not the first of the year. What has happened to me?
Mark and I scouted out some fireworks for the evening, so I scooted back from Cambridge to wrap up in layers and go and ooh and ahh and the loud pretty things. My favourites are always the big white and slightly purpley ones (terrible description) that look a bit like Christmas lights. It was nice to just cuddle up outside and watch the fireworks. I was disappointed in no bonfire though :( We finished off the evening with dinner at an Indian restaurant and a drink in the pub with a friend. Lovely, easy Saturday evening.

Sundays always feel rushed to me, despite having had a lie-in. I did a bit more shopping (oh dear!) and then toddled back home as I tutor one of my neighbours on a Sunday evening. Finished the weekend by watching the X Factor and Downton Abbey with my parents :)

I haven't done one of these posts for a while, so here are a few other things I've been up to over the last couple of months (other than work work work)...
Mark and I went to show the show Wicked, my first trip to la Tasca (yum!), baking macaroons, London cocktails, sitting in the audience of a tv show recording, my first (and second) trips to Byron Burger, a pub quiz, and finally rinks with an old friend who I haven't seen for years....

I'll leave you with a picture of me tormenting my dog by giving her my hair as a wig...

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Hello November!

So here are the things awaiting me this month...

1. My birthday: My birthday has completely crept up on me this year...I’d sort of forgotten about it! Haven’t quite decided what I’m going to do for the occasion yet but it’s on a Friday and I’ve booked a long weekend off work. I’m sure a girly night out with cocktails will be in there somewhere. Turning 24 and entering my mid-20s, as my friends keep reminding me! Fully intend on buying myself a birthday present this year as a treat/congrats to myself with some extra work monies that I have from my promotion.

2. Bonfire night: Ah I love the autumn holidays (Halloween’s now passed obviously, but I’m including that too). Wrapping up like a Michelin man to go and stand in the cold, ooh and aah at fireworks and write your name with a sparkler. I’ll be heading to at least one display this year. There was no bonfire at the one I went to last year though and sparklers were banned too...what is this madness?!

3. Work...sort of: As I mentioned, I got a promotion recently following a prolonged period of 'what am I doing here?!' so I am looking forward to embracing that and really getting stuck in with my new role. That said, expect me to still be moaning about work on Twitter on a regular basis.

4. Keeping up with fitness: Way back in August I was failing miserably at the exercise goal with no sign of motivation in sight. But recently I've sort of got into a bit of a routine with doing exercise which I really want to keep up...and I think I actually might manage it! I feel slightly more in control of my body, if that makes sense? And that's a good feeling. My only problem is that I get bored, so I don't go for half as long as I potentially good. But someone recently told me that audiobooks are really good to run I've just added one to my itunes and am going to give that a whirl! I get bored of music quite quickly when I'm doing exercise, so any suggestions for staying non-bored are much appreciated!

5. Saving monies: I got my finances under much better control a few months ago now (having 2 bank accounts has helped me so much in managing my money each month!) so now I'd like to focus on starting to build up some savings. Because I cannot be living at home forever! Having said that, I do also need to learn to enjoy my wages slightly more and not feel bad for making a few purchases. I work hard so I do deserve to actually spend a little bit of the money I'm earning on nice things (yes Dad...I really do).

6. Looking better: I really need to start putting some work outfits together better. I am always in a rush for everything, including getting ready for work in the mornings. Cue throwing on a few simple things that can't clash and adding a bit printed scarf. Yes there's something to be said for a signature look but this is not quite that. I sit on the tube with outfit envy on a daily basis so it's time to up my game. I bought the 'Stylebook' app a couple of months ago now and it's amazing and perfect for outfit planning, but so far I've only dabbled. I have a few free weekend slots coming up though, so now might be the time to commit.

7.  Bloggy blog blog: I know I've said this a lot of times before...but I really do want to be blogging more! I have a tonne of things I've bought that I want to show you on here, and I want to keep my little weekend updates etc going too so I can look back at this and remember the things I've done and what I was thinking/feeling. But I just haven't put words to (virtual) paper for some reason. Yes I'm busy. But so is everyone else. I need to make some more time for this hobby so I am really going to be try. I must keep reminding myself that it doesn't have to be perfect for me to press 'publish'. So expect some more regularity from me here... Fingers crossed!

Let me know what you're up to this month :)

Image from Google. If this belongs to you please let me know and I'll credit/remove as appropriate!