Over and Out

It is with a sad heart I have to let you lovely people know that my blogging journey has come to an end.  Today, I became a professional woman in an incredible company, and it is a sad but very real fact that blogging cannot be a part of my life anymore.  I have had the most amazing 4 and a half years with this blog, my tiny little slice of the internet sharing my hopes, dreams, stories, snaps and thoughts with you all – but that time is now over.  I will actively continue to read blogs from all over the world, I just can’t write one anymore.  Who knows?!  Maybe me writing elsewhere will produce something wonderful.  Thank you to everyone who has ever read, commented, tweeted, or just stopped by to say hello – it means the world.  So internet, thank you and goodnight.  Over and out.

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My Current Perfume Collection

Happy Monday!  I’ve spent all weekend dancing my knickers off at our bi-annual street dance show, and am feeling absolutely exhausted.  I was so tired, that my lovely Mother bought me a beautiful perfume gift as a ‘Good Luck’ and ‘Well Done’ present before our final performance.  It’s prompted me to give you a mini tour of my current perfume collection I’m spritzing.  

ImageFrom Left:

Lacoste – Touchh of Pink

Jasper Conran – Woman

Ted Baker Ldn – Eau de Toilette

Burberry – Weekend

(N.B. REALLY sorry about the poor lighting!)

ImageLacoste – Touch of Pink

I have a very strong sense of smell, so scent and perfume have the ability to instantly take me back to a certain occasion or time in my life.  I wore Lacoste – Touch of Pink one very important summer, and every time I spritz I’m instantly taken back to some very happy memories, and it’s since then been a firm favourite of mine.  It’s amazing the power of perfume!  My main comment about this perfume is that it’s very long lasting, I spray onto my main pulse points and into my hair of a morning, and by 4pm people still comment on how nice I smell (or the perfume smells!).  Despite being long-lasting, it’s a very light scent.  The tones are very fresh and fruity and it isn’t too strong or pungent.  It’s a very summery scent, so it feels slightly odd wearing it in the winter, but definitely worth it when the sun comes out!

ImageJasper Conran – Woman

I got this set just before Christmas in a set with the bath and shower gel of the same fragrance.  Being a woman who NEVER saves good stuff for a special occasion (i.e. I use and wear nice, good quality and expensive things whenever I feel like it – life’s too short!) I used the shower gel straight away, and funnily enough, preferred it to the perfume of the same scent.  It’s a very strong smelling perfume, the kind that might give you a headache if you spray too much, with very masculine tones.  Boyfriend uses Calvin Klein – One and there are very similar notes involved.  A pro point is that it’s definitely a very autumnal perfume, meaning it’s perfect to see me through the next month or two.

ImageTed Baker Ldn – Eau de Toilette

Whilst this is a lovely, simple perfume full of citrusy undertones, I was unimpressed at how long it lasted, but I guess that’s in the name; ‘Eau de Toilette’.  I feel this perfume definitely matches the Ted Baker brand (more than the other perfumes), with it’s pink colour, edgy geometric bottle and slight floral scent.  Despite not being long lasting, at first spray its a very crisp and sharp perfume that smells lovely and isn’t too pungent.

ImageBurberry – Weekend

Last, but definitely not least is another long standing personal favourite of mine that I’ve been wearing for years now.  It’s a very high quality perfume, and feels very urban and edgy when you spray it, like you can rule London (well, that’s how I feel!).  There are vanilla and cinnamon tones in this scent, which means it can be worn guilt free summer or winter and will compliment any environment.  Being high quality, it is very long lasting and a firm favourite in the perfume stakes.

What perfume are you spraying this season?  

 

 

 

 

 

xoxo Gossip Girl

WHAT an afternoon.  What started out as a cheeky afternoon break from work before an evening out has truly turned into a long and ranty blog post, how apt.  I remember, way back when in 2007 and/or 8, reading the Metro on a trip home from town.  In it, was this picture.  Beautiful, sexy young New Yorkers; I think exactly who and what I wanted to be.  Back then I had big dreams of stars and the stage, who knows, they might just return when I graduate.

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#Stunning

Tuesday (or was it Wednesday?) evenings at 10pm sharp led to me booking out a sofa in my family home, and perhaps being allowed one glass of wine if I didn’t have a full day of college the next day.  I would look forward to it all week, be ever so excited, for the wonder that is, that was, Gossip Girl.

As with any great love of mine with any television show, it is undoubtedly intermittent.  I began ‘Dexter’ by myself as a frightened 16 year old, and couldn’t finish it until I met boyfriend.  Henry Cavil and his sex scenes suddenly became famous and now ‘The Tudors’ isn’t so appealing.  I’m 1 episode away from the ‘Once Upon a Time’ first season finale, but I’ve got bored.  My love of Gossip Girl nearly died when ITV 2 stopped broadcasting it, and hell hath no fury like a girl who learned Netflix didn’t store the grande finale (but that’s for another post).  But I persevered, and by golly I’m pleased.

Last year, on a wine fuelled evening in my family home, my human equivalent of Carlsberg begrudgingly informed me which of the characters, was indeed Gossip Girl.  It didn’t matter though.  As soon as I knew, it suddenly became obvious.  Yes I perhaps didn’t experience the heart pumping, mind racing finale that so many others did regarding the identity of Gossip Girl, but it did not stop my heart pumping and my mind racing.  There were even tears.

I think it was soon as they mentioned Gatsby, I let go a little.  For me, it was always the Tumblr world and the so-called ‘Skins Lifestyle’.  It was the smoke fuelled parties, the disposable cameras, the wild nights on tables; throughout college I looked to these people and felt sadness, pity, joy and want all at the same time.  But, I grew up, and realised I was one of those people already, and the happiest I’ve ever felt. 

Gossip Girl made me think.  Kind of like Harry Potter, I’ve followed age suit of the characters, experienced some of their experiences and felt some of their feelings.  So it means more than a 5 year old quoting ‘Expelliamus’ or my 40 year old sister drooling over Dan Humphrey.  No, I am part of the Gossip Girl generation.  Of smart phones, and blogging and websites, and want and lust and craving.

But, like Dan, I’ve learnt to rise above.  To be grateful for what you have.  And as I’ve got older, and somehow weirdly wiser, I’ve got happier.  And right now, I’ve never been so happy.  Gossip Girl has just helped cement that in my heart.

(Related Blog Posts:

Dexter = https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/dexter/

The Human Equivalent of Carlsberg = https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/human-equivalent-of-carlsberg/

The Sometimes Ridiculous World of Blogging = https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/the-sometimes-ridiculous-world-of-blogging/

Skins = https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/skins/)

 

Happy New Year! & ‘Dry January’

 

Happy New Year, one and all!  2013 really was, perhaps my greatest year to date.  But it’s over now, yesterday is officially last year and today is the start of not only a new year, but a new month.  It’s safe to say that 2013 was very celebratory for me in many ways, I turned 21, I got a 2:1, I graduated; meaning quite a few drinks in my 365 days!  And what seems like even more over the festive period! 

 

Every year, December 7th arrives and every night appears to be booked up with soirees, meals and parties, it’s really hard not to get swept away with all the wine and sparkles!  December has left me feeling rather foggy, and with a crazy amount of university work to be tackled, I’ve decided to partake in ‘Dry January’, where one stays alcohol free for the month of January.  I’ve made the decision not to do it officially for charity, because I would feel terrible if I failed sponsors if I had one glass of wine after a stressful day.

 

No, ‘Dry January’ is just for me.  Whilst I plan to give a personal donation to Cancer Research UK because I believe alcohol and liver damage awareness is an excellent cause, I’ve made the personal decision against the sponsorship side of it. 

 

So anyway, in the light of all my work, blogging might be a bit few and far between for the next few weeks.  Whilst I’ve read so many blogs with bloggy new years resolutions, I’ve steered clear of those so far.  I hate making any form of promise I can’t keep, so here’s hoping I can keep the Dry January promise to myself!  Happy New Year to you all, talk soon.

 

Barcelona

I went to Barcelona last weekend.  Casual.  Just jetted off for a couple of days.

We booked a very last minute trip to celebrate boyfriend and I’s 3 years (nawww) with two nights in Barcelona.  We didn’t have that much time, so I thought Barcelona would be a great place to head as it’s quite a small city and we’d be able to do everything we needed in three days.

Arriving on the Saturday morning we checked into our hotel then trotted swiftly off to Nou Camp (the Barcelona FC football stadium).  It’s the biggest stadium in Europe and has one of the biggest capacities in the world.  Expecting this just to be a boy thing, I really enjoyed it!  It was amazing seeing the real life press rooms, the changing rooms, not to mention the pitch and the trophy room.

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Nou Camp – Barcelona

After a rest up at the hotel and a bath (cor, I do love a good hotel bath) we rambled down La Rambla (see what I did there?!).  It was so beautiful with all the Christmas lights, and a perfect temperature of about 12 degrees C.  Not so cold you had to lug a duffle around!  We checked out a market then had a wonderful meal at a traditional Catalan restaurant before heading home, drinking wine and playing cards.

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The traditional Catalan restaurant we ate in

On the Sunday we were up bright and early to visit Parc Guell, the park the architect Gaudi designed which was just absolutely incredible.  I’ve found my new kitchen tiles there!  The weather was beautiful (I even got a little bit red on my nose!) and the views stretching across Barcelona to the sea were gorgeous.

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View from Parc Guell

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My new kitchen tiles – please Mr Gaudi?!

We next headed to the Sangrada Familia, another Gaudi work of art towering over the city.  Managing to escape the crowds, we found a lovely local park where we just sat and marveled at it without the hubbub of ipads and audio guides.

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The Sangrada Familia

After a winding walk through the old town, we had a spot of lunch then a rest, before heading out on the town.  We ate at a lovely back street local tapas bar (also go on the back streets for cheaper food!) then bar hopped our way back to the hotel sampling lots of traditional Catalan delicacies …!

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Definitely considered a delicacy.

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This too.

On our last morning, we stumbled across a very new and modern flea market, that we gathered had been built due to the tradespeople’s old site being demolished.  It felt rather an odd juxtaposition, the old style flea market and the postmodern architecture.  Nevertheless, we had a great saunter round and I picked up some very cheap vintage jewellery.

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Barcelona Flea Market

I had a wonderful weekend and Barcelona is a city that I would most definitely recommend.  We did the whole thing very last minute, and very cheaply so it just goes to show you can jet off for the weekend with just a couple of hours planning – a great trip!

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La Rambla, Barcelona

Christmas Party – Afternoon Style

Greetings!  I’m just about to head off to my first Christmas Party of 2013.  Well, sort of.  It’s a party in one of my modules, to wrap up the semester, but being only from 3-5pm and just at Uni, I’ve dressed Christmas Casual with just a little bit of sparkle.

ImageTop – Zara

Skirt – Topshop via Ebay

Leggings – Florence and Fred

Boots – Nine West

ImageMake up – Everday with Bronze Eye Shadow

Turquoise – Barry M Gelly Hi-Shire in Greenberry

Coral – Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Passionfruit

It’s certainly no where near my winter and wine wish list (https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/winter-and-wine-wishlist/), but it is technically winter and there will be wine (even at parties between 3-5pm!).  Off I pop!  Laters.

 

 

Confessions of a Gym Convert

I’m sitting on the sofa, with a glass of vino and a magazine whilst boyfriend ogles at football.  All of a sudden this crazy thought runs through my head .. ‘I’d rather be at the gym.’  Shocker.  Those of you who know me well, will know that my idea of exercise is my weekly dance class (swiftly followed by a four pack of Red Stripe), busting a move past midnight or walking to and from the kitchen for a cuppa.

Since I’ve moved back to the ole’ hometown, I’ve been greeted by my fitness fanatic besties whose daily chants of ‘Join the gym’ and ‘Oh it will be SO much fun when we can go to the gym together’ got me quite mad.  So mad, I got a lift to the gym, got a tour, induction and handed over my direct debit details quite simply to shut them up.  But by golly did that one backfire.

In first year I joined the gym at University.  I went twice.  TWICE.  And one of those times I got so frightened because I didn’t know where the changing rooms were I spent the whole 45 minutes on a treadmill in a t-shirt and jeans.  Nightmare.  I frolicked by the next two years of Uni dancing thrice weekly, dancing the night away fourice (not a word really, is it?) weekly and hoping that was that in the ‘Health and Fitness’ department.

But something has happened since I’ve come home.  I’ve grown up (gosh, but that’s for a WHOLE other blog) and started taking this whole health thing a bit more seriously.

I find exercising dull.  I do!  Really, really dull.  Dancing, fine, great, y’all know that’s a hefty passion of mine but anything else?  Flipping boring to be honest.  Or so I thought.  The gym I attend has these fabulous machines with a TV on them, a fantastic circuits machine that hiss water pressure at you, these amazing swing things that look like they belong in a bondage bedroom and wait for it .. a climbing wall.  I walked in, and quite literally, excitement overload.  I had no idea what any of these things were and like a kid in a candy shop, felt ever so excited to give it all a go.  And day by day, week by week, that’s exactly what I did.

I always thought people that went to the gym were right idiots.  I mean, if you want to go on a treadmill, go on a flipping run!  If you want to lift weights, I’ve got two cans of baked beans you can borrow.  I thought that if I walked in in frayed tracksuit bottoms and a ‘Graduate 2013’ t-shirt I’d get the ‘you shouldn’t be here’ looks, like when I order a large glass of Pinot at 10.55am (it’s 5.55pm somewhere).  But there isn’t any of that.  If anything, people look at you with respect, silently applauding, ‘well done you’ looks.  It feels good.

For about two months now I’ve been experimenting with all the bits and bobs and every day I find something new.  Today, I even went on a SKIING machine, can you believe that?!  My bum feels fabulous.  From ‘gym’ being a dirty word, it’s become a word of excitement, of enjoyment.  It’s something I look forward to, a break from an essay, an evening out with my friends, or just an hour of Bella time.  I’m not on any crazy mission to lose weight, or even tone up.  I just feel good after exercise.  I feel good after finding a new machine or finding a new muscle in my body I didn’t know existed.  Going to the gym feels good!  So, I’ve somehow transformed from a girl who ate pizza 5 nights a week, to a woman who respects her body and her health, and my good old friend the gym has helped me do that.  My advice?  Find a FUN gym!  One with sex swings, trampolines and climbing walls.  You never know what else will come with it. 

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Still True