August Verbs

I must admit, I’m utterly baffled as to how we’ve ended up at the end of August.  This month has been amazing, I’ve finished #masterslife and had a few beautiful weeks off before starting full time life shortly.  It’s been a goodun.  Here’s what’s happened:

Watching:  The Inbetweeners

These Boys

These Boys

With the dawn of the new Inbetweeners film (which apparently I won’t find that amusing seeing as I ‘did’ Australia last year) I felt it was necessary to begin the whole series from scratch.  I originally watched the first film after a year’s gap from the series and couldn’t see the humour.  I’m hoping recapping will make the newest movie even better when I get round to cinematic viewing.

Reading:  Bridget Jones, Mad About The Boy – Helen Fielding

Grated cheese, anyone?

Grated cheese, anyone?

The latest Bridget Jones book!  I still haven’t finished so pretty please don’t divulge any necessary information from the story line, but I have to say I’m loving it.  Only half way through I’ve already laughed, already cried, and already drawn a frightening amount of similarities between myself and Jonesy all these years on (bags of grated cheese anyone?!).  A must read.

Listening To: B.O.B

Style: "normal start"

Another Gossip Girl find I’m afraid (guilty!).  I previously only knew B.O.B from ‘that song with the one from Paramore’ but I’ve been trawling Spotify and I have to say I’m rather impressed.  His tunes make great kitchen choreo too.

Wearing on my Body: Denim Jacket

It looks a bit like this.

It looks a bit like this.

With this BEAUTIFUL August weather we’ve been having, the sheared denim jacket has just had to make an appearance.  A comfy classic.

Wearing on my Face:  Nothing

I'll go with that.

I’ll go with that.

Sorry to be boring, yet again!  I have however been testing out my everyday work make-up face and think I’ve pretty much got the look down, so this subsection might be more exciting next month!

Eating: Out

Nom

Nom

This month has seen countless pub trips, restaurant stops, BBQs, family friend buffets and house parties.  My social life has been off the chain this month (golly) which has meant I’ve barely cooked!  Next month, I’m looking forward to lighting candles and having longer nights in with some autumnal plate of yumminess I’ve conjured.

Drinking: Bubbles

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I think this goes hand in hand with all the social events I’ve been a part of this month – dahling.

What have you been up to this August?

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July Verbs

Well look at us.  We’ve made it to the second half of the beautiful year 2014.  Part 1 flew by, but writing monthly updates like this really help me see what I’ve been up to.  Here’s July:

Watching: Hemlock Grove

Another Netflix original here, with a creepy storyline and a stunning cast.  I’m about 6 episodes in and I have to be honest, am still not quite sure what it’s about, but I’m loving every minute of it.  It’s absolutely captivating TV and Bill Skarsgard is beaut.

Hemlock Grove

Hemlock Grove

Reading: The Wedding Girl – Madeleine Wickham

Madeleine Wickham is an excellent author, also writing under the name Sophie Kinsella, who brought us the Shopaholic series.  She writes small and easy novels that are girly, gossipy and make you giggle.  They’re light fun reads that fit nicely in a handbag for the train and that you think about all day.  Would definitely recommend.

The Wedding Girl - Madeleine Wickham

The Wedding Girl – Madeleine Wickham

Listening To: Embers – Just Jack

I heard this beaut in the back of a Gossip Girl episode (yep, that’s still happening) and immediately whipped out my Soundhound app to hear what it was.  I was pleased to know this stunning track is on Spotify and it’s been on replay pretty much ever since.  A gorgeous song.

Tune.

Tune.

Wearing on my Body: Havaianas

I bought my black bejewelled Havis in Australia last year, after I fell in love with the same pair which my cousin owned.  In this gorgeous weather, they haven’t been off my feet.  Being black they go with anything, are super comfy and make whatever nail polish I’m rocking pop.

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Beaut.

Wearing on my Face: Instablur

My love affair with Benefit’s Porefessional has come to an end.  I’d read a lot about this Body Shop product Instablur on beauty blogs, so thought I’d give it a go, and we’ve embarked on a fully fledged fling.  It’s a very odd consistency I must admit, but really does minimise pores and act as a great priming base for both foundation and powder.  Again, would definitely recommend.

Instablur

Instablur

Eating: Leeks

Leeks are one of my all-time favourite vegetables and are currently in season, meaning they’re much cheaper and better for the environment than if you bought them at another time of year.  Leeks feature at least daily in my diet this time of year, being great on a roasting tray of vegetables, fried up with some peas and bacon for a side dish, or an ingredient in a healthy vegetable packed soup.  Beaut of a veg.

Yum

Yum

Drinking: Coconut Water

I remember in Thailand we’d drink fresh coconut water every single day.  Back in England however, I was greeted with unattractive cartons and even more unattractive prices.  So I was absolutely thrilled to see M and S have launched a coconut water in a great sized bottle (currently on offer too!).  It’s light, refreshing and almost tastes as good as the real thing!

Yes Please!

Yes Please!

What have you been up to this July?

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!

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?

 

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?

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

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!