Working From Home

Technically, spending the last 6 years of my life as a student, all my academic work has been from home.  But this year, that’s stepped up a notch.  Throughout my undergrad, I lived with friends who were other students; my biggest house was 9.  Days were filled with dozy lectures followed by naps and a wild night out.  However this year I’ve been enduring #masterslife living with just the boyfriend, who works full time.  Lectures have dwindled, instead being replaced with relentless coursework and of course the dissertation (remember the double Ds?!).  This means my life has changed, and I’ve entered into the realm of ‘working from home’ …

And I love it.  I absolutely love it.  Other than the disturbed half an hour when boyfriend wakes up and departs for work, my time is my own, I can use it as I please.  I can sleep in, go to the gym, work wherever I please, eat what I want, watch Netflix galore, go shopping, go eating, go drinking … as long as I get my work done.

I’m a hugely organised human.  I meticulously plan my work for every day of the week on a Monday morning and make sure I see it through.  So as long as I write X amount of words or revise for X amount of hours, I’m cool.  I can do whatever I want.

I live in my Pjamas, I make soup every day for lunch, I have 2pm karaoke concerts, binge on Made in Chelsea and make up tap dances.  I clean a lot, lounge around with Heat magazine, paint my nails and have 4pm glasses of wine.  And when I go out, I go lunching with pals in London, go interiors shopping, saunter around Marks and Spencers or pop to the pub.  My time is MINE.  As long as I get my work done, the rest I can do with as a I please.  It really is wonderful.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I work A LOT.  And I work HARD.  Doing well at my degree means everything to me and if that means I have to have 16 hour working days or nighttime stints in the library, I’ll do it.  But I do attempt to plan my days which means I can hang out and have breaks as and when.  And it works pretty darn well.

However, my working from home life is coming to a timely end.  And at a good time really.  I begin fully fledged adult working full time life in a few weeks and working from home life will be a distant memory.  I do think that it will make me appreciate home a lot more though.  Whilst I love it, I can sometimes take advantage of my beautiful home.  It will be wonderful to arrive home at the end of the working day, collapse onto my sofa, look around and say ‘Ahhhh’.

When I look back at this academic year of #masterslife, I think I’ll remember working from home the most fondly.  Oh, all the fun I’ve had with me, myself and I.  However this chapter is drawing to its close, so for these last few weeks I’m going to milk it for all that its worth.  Lie ins, Jeremy Kyle on +1, Netflix galore and inappropriate wine time come at me.  My time as a student and from working from home is drawing to a close, but my goodness am I going to make these last few weeks count!

Excuse me, inappropriate wine time is calling.

 

John O’Groats

I love trains.  I really really do.  So, whilst I’m in my final ‘summer’ so to speak (although still working full time, as and when) I felt it was only necessary to take the train to John O’Groats.  As you do.  Snaps and stories.

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We took the sleeper train from London Euston up to Inverness.  This was my beaut of a berth.  If you haven’t been on a sleeper train, I’d really recommend it.  It’s so much fun toddling down to the dining carriage bar for a drink and to mingle with the other passengers.  (Note my left over gin and lemonade glass.)  It can be a bit hit and miss as to how well you actually sleep, but I find the swaying and to and froing really rather comforting.  Then waking up and finding out you’re in the middle of Scotland and that the London lights are 300 miles behind you, pretty breathtaking.

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We wandered around Inverness for a bit before catching our next train, from Inverness to Wick.  This was a 4 hour pretty bumpy ride through the Highlands but was absolutely beautiful.  I saw puffins, deer, even majestic stags and of course, lots and lots of sheep.  It was gorgeous.

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From Wick, we took another very bumpy bus up to John O’Groats (the most northern part of the UK) itself.  It was crazy, literally nothing there.  I felt extremely overwhelmed about how far north we were (which is weird, cause I’ve been to Australia heaps of times LITERALLY the other side of the world) but is was beautiful and desolate at the same time.  Excuse the pretty casual get up here.  (I’d spent upwards of 12 hours on trains).  But FYI my tee is ASOS, jeans are trusty BDG at Urban Outfitters favourites, socks are Topshop and sneakers are Vans.

After a twenty minute stroll around John O’Groats we got the same very bumpy bus back to our hotel in central Wick (located on the shortest street in the world, don’t you know).  After relaxing over a bottle of cava we headed down to a gorgeous dinner and some drinks in the bar, before collapsing into bed.

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After an early start, we got the same (bumpy) train from Wick down to Inverness where we spent the day strolling the Ness and the Isles of Ness, shopping and gorging on Pizza Express.  At 8pm we boarded the sleeper train to head back to London Euston where we arrived 12 hours later.

So that was it!  It was a beautiful trip and exactly the break I needed.  The Highlands were just gorgeous and I can now say I’ve been to the most northerly point in the UK!  Next, Landsend.

 

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.

Afternoon Tea at Vertigo 42

Last week I went for afternoon tea at Vertigo 42, the champagne bar on the roof of Tower 42 in the City of London.  We received a deal via Amazon Local and being partial to the odd finger sandwich and scone, thought we’d give it a try.  We entered the lobby and were directed to a maze of lifts to take us to the 42nd floor.  It was definitely quite a dated building, which you could tell by the 1980s decor in need of repair.  The lift actually arrived on the 41st floor meaning we had to walk the final flight of stairs to get to 42.  Not great for someone afraid of heights (but then again it was called Vertigo ..!).

We entered the champagne bar and the first thing that struck me was the incredible 300 degree (not quite 360 it has to be said) views of London.  It was a typical British day on which we visited; hazy, rainy and sunny all at the same time.  We were led all the way around the bar so we were facing the North of London.  Being a south of the river girl myself, I think I would have preferred to have sat the opposite side of the bar, but it didn’t matter too much.  We had a great view of Ally Pally and the Emirates Stadium, and the rolling hills of the north of England (i.e. North of Watford).

The attentive waiters wasted no time in swiftly bringing us a chilled glass of champagne, which was absolutely delicious, followed by our towering tray of goodies.  At first sight it looked lovely, but as a savoury fan myself I would have preferred to have seen a few more sarnies.  The finger sandwiches were nice with good flavours, but I think a little bit more attention to detail could have been paid.  There were a couple of sandwiches with crusts on and the filling servings were under generous.  Call me picky but I have high expectations with fine dining!  The next trays were fruity and chocolatey tart trays and then scones, both of which were delightful.  We rounded the tea off which a lovely pot of English Breakfast.

When we had finished tea, the waiters had no problem with us sauntering round taking some photos, but I could tell were keen for us to leave so the next herd could be fed and watered.  Whilst I overall had a lovely time, I don’t believe the Afternoon Tea experience would have been worth the full price.  Having experienced Afternoon Tea elsewhere such as the Ritz and the Landau, where the service is excellent and sandwiches a-plenty, it just didn’t measure up.  I had a lovely afternoon and the views were incredible, but the food just wasn’t up to par.

Vertigo 42

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IMG_3157Next stop, The Savoy!

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.  

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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/)

 

2013 – An AMAZING Year.

It comes to that time of year again of reflection, reflecting about the past 12 months and what you’ve achieved, whether it’s been a good year, a great year, or whether January 1st just can’t come quick enough.  I did a similar post this time last year (https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/gonna-party-like-its-2012/), I do just find it so amazing seeing how far you come.  It’s only when you really sit and think about it, that you realise it.  Here’s what I’ve done this year:

January

  • Celebrated New Year in Bruges, Belgium, one hour ahead of London!
  • Created the term #SNOLO (Holla, snow day, anyone?!)

February

  • Appeared on national television, on the hit BBC1 show ‘Pointless’.
  • Had a lovely getaway to Portsmouth to celebrate V Day.
  • Partook in the ‘Pure Dance’ dance show in front of hundreds of people with my university street dance competition team.

March

  • Competed at one of the biggest university dance competitions in Loughborough with my street dance competition team.
  • Celebrated my birthday (ever so slightly early!) with a murder mystery party.
  • Once again, attended the amazing Ideal Home Show and at ate at Greg Wallace’s restaurant.
  • Attended my first ever baby shower for a great friend.

April

  • Celebrated my 21st birthday with a getaway to beautiful hotel in Bath.

May

  • Sat (and passed!) my university final exams.

June

  • Spent an incredible 3 and a half weeks in Sydney and the Gold Coast, Australia.

July

  • Moved into my first ever grown-up flat with Boyfriend.
  • Went to the Cricket for the first time.
  • Graduated from university with a BA Geography 2:1 (Hons)

August

  • Spent a fabulous two weeks in Cyprus.

September

  • Had a lovely few and relaxing days in the Isle of Man.
  • Learnt to like red wine (this is a big one!).
  • Went Glamping for the first time.
  • Rejoined my local dance school, that I have attended since I was 11!
  • Began a Masters course in London.
  • Joined the gym.
  • Went on my first ever London night out.

October

  • Saw Jessie J perform live at the O2.

November

  • Joined a church Gospel Choir.

December

  • Celebrated 3 years with Boyfriend with a weekend city break to Barcelona.
  • Performed with the church Gospel Choir in a Christmas carol concert.

To Do:

  • Celebrate Christmas with a wonderful few days away in the Isle of Man.

Wow, when you write it all down like that, it really does seem like a lot.  Whilst Bella’s Bits is a place for me to chat to you all about clothes and make-up, it’s also a place where I share some of the bigger, more important things in my life, like my take on political or ethical issues, for example.  It’s also my little diary like slice of the internet where I can think about what I’ve achieved, and looking at 2013, I’m proud!  I really have done so much this year and am so proud and happy with what I’ve achieved.  I feel so blessed with the life and opportunities I’ve been given.  You know, I can’t really do it justice here, there aren’t any words!

I would really encourage you to do as I have, go through your year, and really think about what you’ve achieved.  Think about your friends, your dreams, your family, your hopes, your travels, anything that inspires you to wake up the next day and keep going.

Fall in love with life in 2014, I dare you.

(FYI – I’m taking a bloggy break over the holidays, so have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and I’ll see you in 2014.  Toodaloo!)