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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April Verbs

My twitter bio ‘Nomad with a Heart for Home’ has never been more apt.  Beautifully settled into our gorgeous new flat, I already had itchy feet.  So what happened?  We toodled off to Paris with less than a weeks’ notice.  It’s not that I don’t LOVE my flat, I do, so much.  I love everything about it, I love being in it, I love making it a home.  I think I just love the big wide world a bit more.  Here’s what I got up to in April:

Watching: Jackass

I’m not entirely sure how this happened.  We were settled down with our dinner, cruising over Netflix without the drive or determination to watch anything serious.  ‘Jackass 3D’ on ‘Most Popular’ – meh, why not?  We were laughing and rolling and drinking and before I knew it I’d ordered a skateboard.  Fast forward two weeks and we’ve watched all 5 films back to back … twice.  Oh, and I’ve pretty much fallen in love with Bam Margera.

These Boys.

These Boys.

Reading: ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’ – Jeffrey Archer

Also known as Volume 4 of the Clifton Chronicles .. Archer’s latest literary (for young adults) masterpiece.  No, I love it I really do.  I’m not quite sure how I stumbled upon the Clifton Chronicles.  All I know it 4 books in I’m so wrapped up in their lives, in their hearts, in their stories the characters feel like family.  Archer writes with a hunger for you to turn the next page, so you do … again and again.  Just read it.

The Clifton Chronicles.

The Clifton Chronicles.

Listening To: 4Music

I’ve ordered an Ipod.  Stupidly, said Ipod was ordered just before the crazy long Easter bank holidays leaving me with zilch music (and I must admit, I’m a little bored of Spotify Top Lists) thus resorting to 4Music.  The TV channel offers a good mix of shows, genres, battles and interviews.  It’s just a shame about the adverts.

4 Music

4 Music

Wearing on my body: Tye-Dye Vans

This April, I turned 22.  It wasn’t a particularly momentous occasion.  Not like last year’s incredible trip to the boutique Bath spa hotel.  No, this year I lay on my new sofa in my new flat, swigging champagne watching ‘The Sound of Music’ whilst boyfriend brought me bagels.  Anyway, a week after my Mum and I went on a wee shopping trip to Westfield to spend our monies (her birthday falls a week before mine).  I knew I had a £50 cheque in the bank so as we walked into Office and spotted these for bang on the money, I just knew I had to get them.  The kind of frivolous purchase that’s over in 5 minutes … but I’m oh-so in love, and they definitely caught a few eyes walking me around Paris.

Utter.  Beauties.

Utter. Beauties.

Wearing on my face: Nothing

So maybe I’m a bit late to the #nomakeupselfie party.  I did however do a pretty gnarly FB post having a rant and rave about THIS post from 4 years ago.  (https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2010/02/23/why-i-dont-wear-make-up/)  I think I might have ruffled a few feathers.  This month my skin has been particularly bad so I decided not to encourage it further.  I’ve been wiping off the make-up and feeling clear and free skin from the get-go.

Holly looking BEAUT make-up free.

Holly looking BEAUT make-up free.

Eating: Café Rouge

Maybe this is why we decided to go to Paris in the first place.  My family collect Café Rouge vouchers with Tesco Clubcard and its always a good place to go with a lovely atmosphere, any time of the day.  My breakfast favourite would be Oeufs Royale and you just cannot beat the Goats Cheese Salad.

Cafe Rouge.

Cafe Rouge.

Drinking: Gordon’s

Boyfriend treated me to a big bottle of this yummy gin for our growing cabinet when it was on offer in Tesco (charmer).  I forget how refreshing it is with lemonade, lots of ice and a slice of cucumber.  Lovely!

This.

This.

What did you get up to this April?

Social Media Madness

I love social media, I absolutely love it.  I love tweeting and texting and instagramming and facebooking – it’s safe to say I am a social media harlot.

In this day and age of smartphones and 3g, much of our social media participation is done on the go.  I’m talking checking in at the cinema, instagramming your dinner at a restaurant, or tweeting about your night out.  That’s fine, I do it too.  I encourage it, I embrace it.  What I DO have a pet peeve about is social media(ing) in the company of others.  Now I don’t mean walking along, or hanging out in a common room chilling and chatting.  I mean real company, spending quality time with someone.

It has become all too normal to turn up to a bar meeting friends for drinks and put your phone on the table.  It’s of course, fine it you’re waiting for an important call ot an email, but not if you’re waiting for a retweet or a ‘like’ notification.  What, is then wrong with the company you are keeping?  Are they less important to you that one of your 300 facebook friends commenting ‘fit’ on your new selfie?  They can’t be, otherwise you wouldn’t have arranged to meet them in person.

It makes me so mad when I’m having lunch with someone and they check their phone.  Instantly, there’s a digital barrier between us and all connection and conversation flow can vanish.  Again, it’s fine if they’re showing me a picture of something or a hilarious vine, but to connect with the virtual world when they should be connecting with the real world?  No.  Not on.

I recently raised this issue with Boyfriend.  I told him, that when I’m having drinks with friends at Uni, there are no phones on the table, that the conversation and banter is on fire and everyone is genuinely interested in each other – and how utterly refreshing it is.  Then I told him what I’m telling you, how cross I feel when social media company is put before my company (or maybe I’m just THAT boring?!).  He commented, that maybe phones and social media in company is our new norm in society, not something to feel angered or upset about.  This saddened me.  I love social media, I’ll be the first and loudest to admit it.  But not when I’m around others, not when I’m enjoying real life, my life, and living it to the full.

Ever since I can remember, phones or laptops have not been permitted at dinner or drinks in my family.  If you use your phone at our dinner table, you will be asked to leave.  I believe this is how it should be.  It is the height of rudeness to start a conversation with someone else whilst spending quality time with a person, so why is it okay to do it virtually?

I’m not campaigning we all put down out smartphones and digital detox.  I’m not going to go all crazy and throw a friends phone across a room if they dare brandish it in front of me.  I’m just trying to get us all to have a little think, about our social media habits, about our phone habits when in the company of others.  What do you think?  I’d be really interested to hear another take on this.  Feel free to like, retweet, comment, poke, repost, or any other social media action you can think of.  All I know is, I won’t be checking if you did, whilst in the company of others.

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Woops

Oh, Hey

Howdy.  How are you all?  Sorry for my absence.  It’s 2 weeks until I start at my MA at University and I am well and truly making the most of the last of my holidays until September 2014.  I’ve been seeing a lot of friends and family, sightseeing, hanging out and just mentally preparing to start 9-5 again.  

I had a beautiful weekend in the Isle of Man.  I forget how peaceful and beautiful it is there.  When you wake up in the morning, you can’t hear car alarms, the rumbling of trains and early morning market traders, you hear .. well, nothing.  I love living urban, I do.  I’m very cosmopolitan by nature and I get a bit queasy if I don’t see concrete and a skyscraper every day.  I’m just a city girl.  But I do love the countryside, in short lengths of time!

Yesterday, I also started back at the Street Dance school I attended for 7 years before I headed off to University.  It was absolutely fantastic.  There were some old faces and new faces, classic moves and mod moves.  I’m so excited to get really stuck in and see what the new term brings.

Gosh, this has been the first time I have just sat down and wrote, in a really long time!  I’m going glamping (yes, glamping!) this weekend so I will try and get some photos there to post for you all.  Today, I’m about to experience the legend that is Costco!  I intend to purchase bottled water, tuna and wine.  Priorities!

Anyway, it’s been lovely to stop by.  In the mean time, if you fancy exploring my random ramblings and ways of life, you can follow:

Twitter: @bellasbits

Instagram: @bellasbits

Facebook:  I don’t have a Facebook page yet for my blog, what do you guys think to that?

Bloglovin:  www.bellasbits.wordpress.com

Have a lovely day!

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X Factor Humble Pie?

There’s something about family and friends coming together over a glass of wine or a beer in front of the TV on a Saturday night that makes Britain think they are judges.  Despite the fact that for the most part, we know absolutely nothing about the foxtrot or the samba, tone or pitch, or if and how she’s got her fake tan wrong; we love to think that we know it all, and further to that; have our say.  Whether this is through texting our friends, facebook statuses or twitter, Britain absolutely loves to have a good old bitch about what’s popping up on our TV screen.  And I’m no different.  Here’s what went down on my Twitter feed last night regarding ITV’s The X Factor:

 

I turned into a complete cow!  Who the hell do I think I am?  That being a blogger instantly makes my opinion worthy, that I am qualified to judge the voices, the appearance, the staging of these singers, these people?  It might have been the wine, but I didn’t half go off on one.  The thing is though, it’s not just me.  My entire Twitter feed was buzzing with bitchiness and brash comments about song choices, what whoever was wearing or a Judge’s comment.  Who do we think we are?!  Unless we are show business professionals, have sung on the X Factor ourselves or a have a Top 40 single,  we simply haven’t got a clue.  How would I feel if someone tweeted this way about me and my work?  Not too great, that’s for sure.  Whilst in the comfort of my own living room, I might yell and scream what I think at the TV, I think from now I’ll keep my tweeting to a minimum.  X Factor Humble Pie much?!

Tweeting Madness

I love Twitter.  Twitter is the reason I began blogging.  I first got Twitter at the end of 2009 and a few months later realised that I just had too much to say for 140 characters.  Nevertheless, being one of the first tweeters has set me in good stead because just now, and only now are facebookers jumping on the bandwagon.  I love Twitter.  I feel that you can be alot more honest on Twitter about who you are and what you are doing, because people who read Twitter are posting the same things, and actually care (hopefully).  So basically I love Twitter.  Here are some of my favourite tweets from myself over the last few months:

Twitter tells the truth about how dappy I can sometimes be.  It’s not all wine and travel.

Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without Twitter during revision and exam time.  Fellow tweets about libraries, gauging eyes out and procrastination keep everyone going.  Somehow.

Now this is the kind of thing that I don’t know if I could post on Facebook.  I freaking love pop music, I would listen to Mcfly over Foster the People anyday.  For some reason, I feel like Facebook and the people on it wouldn’t get that.  Twitter, doesn’t care.

And that’s just standard Bella.

So basically I love Twitter.  If you don’t have it, you’re missing out!  Sign up today.  Follow me @bellasbits :)

What Happened In March

1)  Loughborough!  An absolutely stunning weekend.  Read the post here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/loughborough-2012/

2)  I found gin, in a hopeless place.  Well, in Aldi.  On a standard food shopping trip I stumbled across a £4 large bottle of gin and since I’m trying to be a bit healthier, and consume fewer calories, so gin was the only option; obviously.  Here’s me trying out Marks and Spencers canned gin and tonic.  See point 6.

3)  Amsterdam!  Again, just absolutely stunning.  Read the post here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/dam-madness/

4)  Here is a beautiful picnic I had on a train journey.  Unfortunately, not the nicest train journey.  I was on my way back from Gatwick Airport after spending the weekend in the Isle of Man, due to Andrew’s grandmother passing away.  It was a sad and stressful weekend, so wine cheesy bites were a must.

5)  Aha!  One evening, one of my housemates Hannah and our friend Nancy took it upon themselves to make cupcakes … of everyone’s faces.  See mine in the bottom right hand corner:  Bella, with a bottle of wine.  It’s lovely to know my friends know me so well!  Other’s included chocolate covered fairy cakes for our friends Fatima and Tashan, a housemate Jan sporting an abnormally large nose and Andrew, in the top right hand corner with his big lips and chipped teeth.  Bless.

6)  My twitter review of point 4; the M and S gin and tonic.

7)  Oh goodness!  I thought Andrew was over with scaring the life out of me.  But no, March brought two trips to the Minor Injuries Unit and one to A and E.  First was pretty minor, a potentially broken foot which turned out to only be ligament damage.  The next trip was potential spinal fluid squiring out of Andrew’s nose, which turned out to just be snot.

8)  This is a beautiful picture of my rents, which I found under my bed when I came home to Woking for the Easter holidays.  Was so happy to see it after a year or two!

9)  I sold plenty more things on Ebay, including this gorgeous Topshop Unique Peter Pan Collar dress, which sold for £8 in the end.  I was sad to see it go, but alas, with growing up and into a woman, you physically grow too.  I earned £30, score.

10)  Ideal Homes Show, again, stunning.  Read about it here:  https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/the-ideal-home-show/

Hope you’ve all had a glorious month :)