200

Welcome to the 200th post of Bella’s Bits!  I quite like milestones like this, little as they may be.  It gives one a chance to quietly reflect on achievements.  For this, I’ll do as I did for 100 posts in the making and share with you some of my favourite pieces of writing and posts from the last couple of years.

Way back when in 2012, I wrote a couple of letters to my camera, which got an amazing response (view by clicking here).  One reader even told me I made them cry!  This was a piece of writing that was very much just me sitting down by myself and pouring out all my thoughts and emotions, albeit about a camera!  Fortunately, I found said camera a few days later and welcomed it back into my life with open arms here.

These last 100 posts have also seen my documents of various travels, along with #OOTDs to match.  You can read about Thailand, Australia, Cyprus and Paris by clicking.

Another post which had a good response was this one titled X Factor Humble Pie.  It involved my tipsy twitter ramblings whilst watching The X Factor a couple of years back, followed by sober reflections.  It speaks for itself really.

A couple of posts that I feel really showcase my style of writing include Social Media Madness and Bella Evening, the latter of which I almost titled ‘The Importance of Being Alone’.  I love this style of post, but I have to be in a certain kind of mood to write like this.  These just go to show how much life influences writing, and vice versa almost and how living and loving your life is the most important thing of all, and if that inspires writing, well it’s just a bonus really.

And finally, a post I’m most proud of is rather personal to me, 2013 an amazing year.  This was a rundown of all the accomplishments I’d achieved that year and even reading it now makes me swell with pride and emotion.  I believe that reflection is such a key part to progression and moving forward.  Sometimes, when you’re stuck in a rut or unsure of where life is headed, looking back can provide you with the motivation you need.  Being proud and happy of what you’ve achieved in the past can refocus your direction in life and remind yourself that you can do anything.  And that’s what this post did for me.

So a very happy 200 posts to Bella’s Bits, here’s to the next 200!

 

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January Verbs

Welcome to my new feature!  I’ve decided to combine my loves and likes of style of life, beauty and fashion and create a cheeky new feature about my doing activities for every month.  Here’s hoping I stick to it, and can give you all some inspiration for stuff to do for the month ahead.

Watching: 24

24 is a series (FYI Series 1) I think boyfriend and I began in 2012, but we got very bored and neg about it.  Whilst the real time idea is genius, it’s also tedious, and quite frankly, the storylines are just ridiculous.  Nevertheless, we persevered, finally finishing Season 1 of 24 a few nights ago.  I’m pleased we did, there were definitely a few heart pumping moments in the last few episodes.  Netflix does however inform us there are a grand total of 193 (which isn’t even a multiple of 24?!?!?) episodes on Netflix, which is a frightening concept, so we’ve decided to leave 24 for now.

24

24

Reading: The Racketeer by John Grisham

This book (crime/law/whodunit genre) is completely outside my reading comfort zone.  I actually found it brand new on a train with no owner in sight, so decided to give it a loving home.  A couple of weeks ago I spotted it on my shelf, and needing a lightweight book for the commute, grabbed it and left.  It was excellent!  I really enjoyed it; it was so interesting all about the ‘justice’ system in the States and with a real twist at the end.  I’m definitely going to read some more Grisham books in the future.

The Racketeer by John Grisham

The Racketeer by John Grisham

Listening To: Spotify Top Lists

This is such a great playlist, it really is.  I’m a Spotify free user (I can’t quite part with the monthly outgoings when all I have to endure is a WKD advert interrupting my Kesha flow) and quite frankly, haven’t got round to making my own playlists.  I like pop and I’m not ashamed of it, it’s like a permanent updating UK Top 40, for free!

Spotify Top Lists

Spotify Top Lists

Wearing: My new Mantaray Cardigan

I’ve been wearing a beautiful new, cream knitted cardigan I was given for Christmas (but actually picked out last June!).  Because it’s cream it goes with every outfit, and it’s big, oversized and is so good to snuggle into when it gets cold!

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Wearing on my face: No7 Bronzer

In this dull, drab weather I keep clicking through old holiday photos where the weather was warm and beautiful.  Thailand, Australia, Cyrpus, Turkey … sigh.  Since body fake tan looks utterly horrendous on me, I have to do what I can to fake it on my face.  My trusty No7 does the trick, and with some sneaky contouring tricks I learnt backstage at the dance show, my face looks slimmer (I hope!) with more colour.

No7 Bronzer

No7 Bronzer

Eating: Pickled Onions

I’ve recently come to realisation (albeit 10 years too late) that unhealthy snacks are not only really bad for you, but they’re also really expensive.  Pickled onions are a great snack and satisfy that need to crunch on things.  Drained from all their vinegar, they’re cheap and healthy.  Healthier than Pickled Onion flavoured Monster Munch anyway!

Pickled Onions

 

Drinking: Twinings Mint Humbug

My university campus is a 5 minute walk away from Twinings Tea Headquarters.  I went in there a couple of weeks ago for some free samples and couldn’t resist buying the Mint Humbug tea bags.  They’re in the style of Teapigs, with a netted pyramid shape tea bag and the flavour is just unreal.  Healthy, great in taste, and a good alternative to wine on cold evenings!

Mint Humbug

What have you been doing this January?

Winter Wishlist

First off, apologies for the hasty formatting.  I’m in a terrible rush as I’m desperate to hit the shops to buy all the beautiful things listed I can’t afford.  Sigh.  

It was yesterday, a typical lazy (and hazy) Sunday when I got so chilly I had to turn the heating on.  It got me thinking of all the clothes I could do with that you can really snuggle into.  You know what I mean when I say that, right?  Clothes you can wrap around you, covering your face, rub your cheek against and feel super warm and cosy in.  Ahh.  Here’s my pick of the bunch for Winter 2013:

Image1)  Natural Chunky Knit Wrap – The Collection at Debenhams – £45.00

2)  Wildfox Gothic Crosses Cardigan – Wildfox at ASOS – £299.00

3)  Barts Grande Scarf – Barts at ASOS – £49.99

4)  Free People Aurora Tie-Dye Sport Top – Free People at Urban Outfitters – £58.00

5)  Knitted Hat – H and M – £6.99

6)  Beckside Crew – Jack Wills – £59.50

7)  Free People Hendrix Kimono Cardigan With Applique Detail and Tassell Trim – Free People at ASOS – £240.00

8)  Phase Eight Britney Dress, Multi – Phase Eight at John Lewis – £68.00

And FYI, here’s my pick of the bunch from 2012:

https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/winter-lust-list/

https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/winter-wine-lust-list/

Have a great week!

 

 

What Happened In September

Way back when in 2012, I did a series of posts titled ‘What Happened In’, then said month, to give you all a monthly life roundup.  As life as got hectic once again, I thought I’d provide you with another, so hello to, What Happened in September.

My month started off in the Isle of Man (which I wrote about here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/oh-hey/).  As usual, I had a beautiful time there and am really excited about spending Christmas there this year (Boyfriend and I are official grownups now, we alternate).  I just love the peace and serenity of the countryside.  Despite having a few on-going internal tensions between rural and urban love and lifestyle, this September, I loved it.

I also headed back to Dance which you can read about in the above post.  I’m absolutely loving it!  Dance is my thing, if you know what I mean.  I’ve always done it, and always loved it.  At the risk of sounding a cross between Darcey Bussell and Louis Spence, I’m so passionate about the way a body can interact and flow with (or without as the case may be) music.  Monday nights are now dance nights.  My go-to nights of hard work, passion and (the next day, usually) pain.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

September also took me Glamping, which you can read all about here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/glamping/

As I wrote about in my post titled about September Syndrome: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/september-syndrome/, September can bring around huge changes for people, as they have for me.  This month, I’ve gone through a huge life change .. I’ve started a Postgraduate Masters course at University.  I’ve had Induction Week and two weeks of Lectures.  It’s full of big changes; a commute, new buildings to get the hang of, London prices, new people, harder material .. but I honestly think doing this Masters might be the best decision I have ever made.

3 years ago I wrote about my Geography A Level exam: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/make-me-or-break-me/  I’m making my dreams come true.  I’ve fallen in love with the life I have, the life I’m living, the life I’ve always wanted.  What are you doing this October?

Christmas Gifts for Him – Under £10

Now, it has to be said that I found the task of finding good quality, nice gifts for men much harder than I did for the ladies.  But anyway, I’ve done my best and here are a few of my favourites.

Image1)  Exspect Leather Kindle Touch Hard Back Shell Case – Argos – £9.99

2)  The Only Recipes You’ll Ever Need: 4 Ways to Cook Almost Everything – Amazon – £9.17

3)  Wheelie Bin Desk Tidy – I Want One of Those – £5.99

4)  BBC London Olympic Games 2012 DVD – John Lewis – £9.99

5)  Linea Wool Nepp Flatcap – House of Fraser – £10.00

6)  Sesame Street Cookie Monster Apron – MenKind – £9.99

7)  Jasper Conran Tan Card Holder – Debenhams – £9.00

8)  Woodspice for Men Giftset – Marks and Spencers – £9.50

My top Christmas gifts for men for under a tenner.  Get shopping to save those pennies!

 

Hair Story

Ever since the lovely Louise over at Sprinkle of Glitter (I blogged about her beauty challenge here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/bedroom-beauty-challenge-january-vivacious-vixen/ – check it out!) did a post about her Hair History, I thought what a great idea!  Though mine isn’t really a history, it’s more of a story.  So here goes:

Even since I was little I’ve had blonde, fluffy, frizzy wavy hair and to be perfectly honest, it’s only in the last year or two I’ve learnt how to manage it!  It’s always been about boob length, with no layers making it quite heavy, but I’ve learnt how to roll with that, and I like it, so why change it?!  

ImageHere’s me way back when in 2007, at a Wedding I believe.  As you can see, no product, no accessories (apart from the John Lewis red peacock thing going on..!), no nothing really.  I think I just spritzed it with some hair spray and off I went.  How wrong of me!  I mean, it’s fine because I was only 15, but looking back it looks awful!  It was around about this time my hair started to go darker and my Mum sat me down and we had the highlights talk .. and I’ve never looked back!

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Gosh, how terribly natural!  Aha!  This is me in Kenya, Africa in 2009 whilst I was out there at a school teaching street dance to kids.  Apologies for the dazed look, I discovered my love of coffee on this trip and think I was off on a caffeine high somewhere above.  This is pretty much my hair, completely natural!  This is what I have to work with everyday, and NOW, I think I do okay.  But here’s what happened next …

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Oh hey there cheeky.  This is one of my MANY dance looks I’ve had over the years.  I’ve had braids, the tightest plaits in the world, up dos, down dos and lots and lots of hairspray.  All the hairspray from dance was seriously starting to damage my hair around this point (2009) as well, until I discovered deep conditioning hair treatments.  L’Oreal do a great one for highlighted hair.  You have a shower normally, shampoo your hair normally, then whack on the treatment and leave it for as long as you like really!  My hair dresser told me if I wear a plastic shower cap over the treatment it works more effectively so I do that as well, cling film works just fine also.  I tend to do that about once a month when I feel like my hair needs some loving.

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And the girl discovered straighteners!  I don’t tend to straighten my hair very much at all really, only ever usually for nights out clubbing.  Every time I have a special event, it’s always curls r us over at Bella Land.  I love this picture because my hair looks so shiny!  As it tends to when it’s straight.  I always prep it with a heat protection serum or spray, that really helps with the shine factor!

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This was taken in 2010, and probably when my hair was the longest it’s ever been.  It also shows my pretty signature style: curls (created with tongs) and my side parting kirby gripped to the side/up.  I discovered my side parting when I was about 11, and it only ever heads central when I forget to brush it after it’s washed (usually being when I have a lot of work on).  The side parting is my saviour.  It makes my face look slimmer and I love all the styles you can do with it, without looking like a 5 year old: braids, plaits, even bunches!

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When I discovered dip dying!  I had this done in 2012 and I remember it only happened a day or two before Jessie J went public with her purple tips.  Annoyed?  Me?!  I love dip dying with random colours because it allows you to have the freedom of a different colour without going too drastic, and it usually washes out in about 6 weeks anyway.  My hair style here is literally just braided in plaits when wet the night before, then spruced with some hairspray.  If in doubt, that’s what I usually go for.

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And here’s me just a few weeks ago!  My hair dresser persuaded me to move away from the dip dye because he thought it was a bit too blocky (and to some extent, I agree with him) and allow him to just brush casual streaks of this deep red through my hair from about half way down.  And I have to say, I loved it!  Definitely my favourite so far :)

So there’s my sort of hair story!  The red has almost gone now and my hair is still about the same length because it grows at snails pace but I can’t wait to try some more colours!  I don’t have a hair appointment til around March time now, but I’m thinking some copper streaks?  What do we think guys?  

What’s your Hair Story?

Love Bella x

 

 

Gonna Party Like .. it’s 2012

In a few short hours it won’t be 2012 anymore!  Usually I’m one to get sad and emotional about that, I’m not a massive fan of New Years Eve and the concept of time terrifies me but nevertheless I have decided to embrace it by looking over the highlights of my year and looking forward to a bright 2013.

So, in 2012 I:

  • Rebranded my blog!  ‘BellasBits’ was born.
  • Competed in dance competitions around the country, falling back in love with music and movement and getting to know some of my squad better.
  • Visited the Ideal Home Show and loved it, bring on 2013!
  • Saw Steps and The Throne at the 02, as well as climbing over it!
  • Went on some amazing travels: Amsterdam, Thailand, Berlin, Edinburgh, Bruges.
  • Went on my first real road trip down to Cornwall, surfing included!
  • Learned to like Sauvingnon Blanc (but not how to spell it ..) – shocker!
  • Became instaobsessed.
  • Learnt how to BBQ like a pro.
  • Played ‘Pointless’ .. for real!
  • Learned to love myself as my friends, family and amazing boyfriend all love me.

2012 has been a very special year for me.  I’ve worked incredibly hard, as I will continue to do so, I’ve learnt alot about myself and will continue to better myself, I’ve experienced and loved every day to the full, and will continue to do so, as 2013 dawns and every year after that.  2012 has also been a very special year for our country.  I know we’ve been hearing/seeing/reading about this absolutely everywhere so I won’t go into it to much, but felt like it deserved a mention (Go Brits, woo.).  So as 2013 dawns, I am looking to the future and what I wish to achieve.  I’ve got lots of exciting plans for Bellas Bits in 2013 so stick around, and we can continue this incredible journey they call ‘life’ together.  And please say hello!  I would really love to get to know you all better :)

Happy New Year!