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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June Verbs

Can you believe we’re in the second half of the year?  As I mentioned in ‘Summer So Sneaky’, it only feels like a few weeks ago I was snuggled in my onesie with candles and a cuppa.  But no, 6 whole months have flown by in the blink of an eye.  My ‘Verbs’ feature has actually really help me keep a track of what I’ve been up to!  Here’s June:

Watching: Gossip Girl

I’m guilty.  I craved.  I’m watching Gossip Girl for the THIRD time.  I just can’t get enough.  Every time I think I remember the storyline or what’s going to happen, there’s a twist, a new character, a new plot, or just something I didn’t see the first time around.  It’s addictive.

These Guys

These Guys

Reading: Blogs

Just cause I’ve been away from the blogging scene, doesn’t mean I haven’t been checking up on it.  I use a website called BlogLovin to keep up to date with all my favourite bloggers and writers who post about all sorts of topics, from all over the world.  I’d encourage you to sign up to not only keep up to date with my blog, but to see who I follow and discover some new and exciting authors.

A seriously good idea.

A seriously good idea.

Listening To: Ella Henderson – Ghost

I seriously can’t get enough of this song.  I was a huge fan of Ella during her time on the X Factor and her debut single is an absolute winner in my eyes.  For those of you who don’t know, I love to sing, so I’ve made a cheeky cover of this track.  Whilst I am by no means confident enough to share it with you, my style is quite similar to Ella (if I do say so myself!).  Have a listen and I guarantee it’ll be in your head before you know it!

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Wearing on my body: Nine West Sandals

These beaut Nine West Sandals cost me around £60 three summers ago.  So the way I see it, that’s £20 per summer.  Not bad.  I can be seen wearing these in a few of my summery #OOTD posts, including my Cyprus series from last summer.  Comfy, cool and colourful.

Such a beaut brand.

Such a beaut brand.

Wearing on my face: Nothing

This June, I’ve ditched the foundation and been baring all.  There’s nothing worse than achieving a gorgeous summer glow and then not having correct make-up colouring to compliment it.  To stay on the safe side, I’ve barely been wearing any make-up thus far.  I’m allowing my skin to breathe and becoming naturally bronzed in the process!

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Eating: Tesco Feta Dip and Bruschetta Snacks

Everyone knows I’m a bit of a cheese fanatic so when these beaut snacks of feta cheese joy landed in my local Tesco … I bought the lot.  I think I’m over my addiction now, but it certainly wouldn’t stop me buying them in the future.  Sweet, salty, tangy and bursting with flavour.  Go on, buy!

Seriously good!

Seriously good!

Drinking: Water

Lately, I’ve been getting quite bad headaches when I’ve been dehydrated.  So, I’ve been making sure I’m always carrying around chilled water reading to sip, glug or chug whenever necessary.  My skins clearer and my headaches have practically disappeared.

What did you get up to this June?

 

 

 

Explanation Part 6

Who would have thought there would have been 6 occasions where I have a wee apology to you lovely readers for not posting?  Well, I certainly thought it might be the case.  For me, blogging is a hobby, its something I love doing; writing and creating (hopefully) exciting and intriguing posts for you all to read … but its certainly not my life.  Its not my life, its not my job, its just something I do.  Life is far bigger than this blog.

The first thing that happened is I went to Scotland.  Ohh yes, I popped on up to John O’Groates and it was wonderful.  And then when I got home full of inspiration and ideas, my internet decided to stop working .. for 12 days.  Terrific timing.  Anyway, since the internet has been back up and running I’ve just been so busy.  I’ve had a few London days out, headed to Royal Ascot, been to a Boat Party, had my bi-annual Dance Show … life has been pretty hectic.  Hopefully I can fill you all in on it over the coming weeks.

For now … fall in love with life, I dare you.

Fall in love.

Fall in love.

February Verbs

What a month!  I’ve been so bogged down by assignments I’ve barely had a moment to check my emails let alone blog!  How are we all?  This month I’ve mainly been working, but my load has freed up a bit now so I can sit down with a cuppa and say ‘Ahhh’.  Here’s what I’ve been up to this month:

Watching: Jonathan Creek

Or J Creek as I’ve affectionately nicknamed it.  This utter beauty appeared to me on Netflix in a moment of pure genius, and I haven’t looked back.  I’ve watched every episode since 1997, and am almost squealing with excitement at the return to our screens tomorrow night (FYI BBC1 at 9pm, Friday 28th February 2014).  Alan Davies makes me all giddy, I love the format, it makes me giggle and it’s so ridiculous it’s just excellent.

J Creek

J Creek

Reading: Ideal Home Magazine

I’m in the process of collecting different colours and patterns to create a decopauge of a very plain and boring wooden mirror.  So instead of cutting up my monthly mag and popping it into my scrapbook, the vast array of wallpaper samples, paints and cushion covers will be appearing via decopauge on my new mirror.  I’ll let you see the outcome soon!

Ideal Home Magazine

Ideal Home Magazine

Listening To: Clean Bandit

Everyone’s heard ‘Rather Be’, but not everyone has heard their full Spotify set list.  Well I encourage you to, now!  It’s no secret I love a bit of classical music, and this album combines classical with the electronic genre to create something quite wonderful.  Most definitely worth a listen.

Clean Bandit

Clean Bandit

Wearing on my body: New Henry Holland coat

I bought my new Henry Holland beauty in the Debenhams sale and absolutely love it!  It’s the perfect coat to see me through this in between weather, when it’s too warm for a winter coat, but too cold for a jacket.  I love the different detailing and its waist clinching abilities work well for my figure.

Henry Holland at Debenhams Coat

Henry Holland at Debenhams Coat

Wearing on my face: Estee Lauder Mascara

I got this mascara as part of my Boxing Day present (an amazing box of Estee Lauder make up goodies).  It’s taken me a few months to get used to it because it’s so different to any other mascara I’ve used.  The wand is much larger than average meaning it can form clumps quicker and faster, which you have to work through with the wand.  Meaning it’s a bit of extra faf, but the finished result is amazing with long, clean and separated lashes.

Estee Lauder Mascara

Estee Lauder Mascara

Eating: Soup

I first received a ‘Soup’ recipe book for my birthday last year, but its only in the last few months I’ve really got into it.  I make it fresh with stock and any veg I’ve got, buy it fresh from the supermarket, or have tins at least once a day, every day.  Whilst some people hate pureed food, I find soup is tasty, eases digestion and is a great healthy and filling meal, perfect for lunch time.

The Soup Book

The Soup Book

Drinking: Wine

After my January stint, my favourite poison of white wine has reappeared as a firm favourite in the liquid stakes.  I’ve had some glorious ladies lunches with white wine, some beautiful food or a quiet evening in.  The perfect accompaniment to my February!

White Wine

White Wine

What have you been doing this February?

 

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.

 

Australian Lookbook

So as I briefly mentioned, I headed to Australia for three and a half weeks!  We were mainly based in Sydney, but had a few trips to the Blue Mountains, Newcastle and the Gold Coast.  My mind couldn’t have been further from blogging this trip, so I didn’t pose for many photos at all regarding ‘What I’m Wearing’ but here’s what I scraped together from the 942 photos from the trip (don’t worry, there aren’t that many!)!

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This photo was taken at a beautiful lookout spot over Sydney.  I thought this outfit was perfect for a bit of tourist sightseeing.  The dress is Dorothy Perkins.  The waistcoat is Primark.  The necklace is Accessorize.  The trainers are Converse.  It was really comfortable, summary in the gorgeous weather and blended well with Sydney City Chic.

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I had about 10 minutes to get ready for this night out in Sydney so I threw this together!  The body is Topshop.  The shorts (trusty favourites!) are Urban Outfitters.  The cardigan is Hollister.  The watch is Swatch.  The tights are Tesco.  The shoes are Office.  The hangbag is Nica.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I just love wearing shorts on nights out where dancing is involved!  I find it so much more comfortable and you can be more relaxed about accidentally flashing your undies.

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Not so much an outfit, but this is what I wore to the British and Irish Lions Rugby match in Newcastle!  Boyfriend’s a huge rugby fan and truth be told, the rugby was one of the reasons we went to Australia.  The shirt is .. a Lions rugby shirt!  The top underneath is from H and M.  The jeans are my beauts from Urban Outfitters, which you can read about here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/bdg-bad-boys/

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This is me performing karaoke.  I loved this outfit and couldn’t find a better picture of my outfit during the night, so this action shot will have to do! I think I’m attempting some sort of air guitar..?!  This was taken on a night out in the Gold Coast celebrating a family friend’s 21st.  I know you can’t see particularly well but this outfit is a favourite go-to of mine.  The shirt is Mink Pink at Urban Outfitters.  The necklace is from a market at the Ideal Home Show. (You can read about the Ideal Home Show here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/the-ideal-home-show/)  The leggings are BDG at Urban Outfitters (another favourite find!).

So there’s just a few looks from my Australian wardrobe.  Hope you enjoyed!