Friday, 12 September 2014

Picture from Google.
Taking a break from downloading yet another book to my Kindle and contemplating how many pairs of shoes are really necessary to put my blog "out of office" on. Using up a big chunk of my holiday allowance to explore China and catch-up with some London friends on the other side of the world. Familiar people and unknown places always makes for a fun combination. I am currently "excitified" about this whole thing (excited and terrified) but focusing on it all step by step - step one being a dose of duty free retail therapy tomorrow. I have no idea what the internet will be like over there so it might also be a time for some well-needed but non-optional "unplugging".

See you in October!

An Early Birthday Weekend in The City

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

My birthday isn't for over a week but as I'll unfortunately be on holiday on the day itself so I celebrated this weekend, too. I'm not usually one to over-do the "birthday" thing but any excuse to catch-up with friends and eat cake! On Friday night I had birthday gin with my non-internet friends (yes, I do have those) but being almost 27 I was in bed (just) before midnight with a late night snack of macaroons thanks to my friend, K. Maybe I am growing up? The weekend looked like this:

Saturday morning pancakes topped with frozen banana, chia seeds and coco nibs. I am getting better at making these
Daddy Lipstick's birthday was on Saturday so my parents popped over for coffee and cake - Waitrose's finest for Daddy!
I spent the afternoon running pre-holiday errands and enjoying this pretentious but incredible drink from Wholefoods.
Sunday morning run - the Queen's barge was also taking a trip along the Thames.
Sunday dressing up - Topshop lace top and F+F Mistress lipstick. I didn't get changed out of gym clothes or wear make-up on Saturday so it was nice to make an effort again (although equally nice not to the day before and I did bump into two people I knew who still recognsied me sans make-up).
Hannah and I visited the Digital Revolution at the Barbican - this is the Will.I.Am experience - a 3D room which was amazing and rather odd at the same time.
Hannah the Phoenix.
Tea time! I'd booked a table at the Barbican Lounge and we sat outside which was lovely - the weather on Sunday afternoon was surprisingly amazing!
Central London at its best when it doesn't feel like central London.
We all agreed that the children's afternoon tea sounds rather appealing...
The afternoon tea was really good - pleasantly surprised for the price! The above is for two and it was plenty! The sandwiches were good, especially the egg one which would not be my usual first choice. The scones were some of the best I've ever tasted - I kind of wish there were more of them! The cakes were very varied - the best was definitely the lemon tart, again something I wouldn't usually pick out. The banana cake was good too. I thought the blondie would be my favourite but it wasn't amazing, not bad, but no way as good as the lemon tart! The service was so-so but once we'd sorted out what we wanted the tea was topped up and we were left to gossip away.
Presents from the girls - spot on! The G&T shower gel might have to be saved for weekends so that people at work don't think I've had G&Ts for breakfast... (although if my friends at the weekend think that, it's ok and they're probably right*)
*Please drink gin sensibly and preferably not for breakfast (unless its a special occasion).
How did you celebrate your last birthday?

Taking Stock

Friday, 5 September 2014

September might be the end of summer (although I agree with Sophie, don't wish it away too soon) but for me it always feels like a new start, too.

My birthday is in the middle of September (the 16th) and the slight chill in the air brings back memories of "back to school" - new shoes, new starts and (most importantly) new stationary. It's ten years since I stepped of the school bus to start my A-Levels at a new school - a first day that will forever be ingrained in my memory for being absolutely terrifying and at the same time the beginning of everything my life is now - and a year since I started my new job (I'll be "celebrating my work anniversary" as LinkedIn refers to it). My life will always be tied to the academic year, September feels so much more like a "new start" than dreary January ever will. I'm excited to turn 27 (since feeling all "quarter life crisis about turning 25 I now feel young again), to reflect back on an amazing summer (maybe just maybe the best ever) and to think about new adventures...

Taking Stock is inspired by Bee (original source here).

Making :: Loom bands, still.
Cooking :: Courgetti, one of the few things I can cook.
Drinking :: Gin, Vita Coco Cafe when its not gin o'clock.
Reading :: Less Than Zero by Brett Easton Ellis.
Wanting :: Everything (while realising I don't really need anything).
Looking :: Like I need to invest in an eyeliner that doesn't smudge all over my face.
Playing :: With the Hyperlapse app and trying to figure out what the fuss is.
Deciding :: Whether a 6am alarm and a spin class tomorrow morning is a yes or no.
Wishing :: That life be simpler but no less enjoyable for it.
Enjoying :: Mother Lipstick patiently listening to me talk about domain names without knowing what they are.
Waiting :: For the rest of my furniture to be delivered so I can finally unpack my boxes.
Liking :: Statuses on Facebook, photos on Instagram. As always.
Wondering :: How a cycle of Facebook / Gmail / Instagram / WhatsApp came to constitute "a night in".
Loving :: Life, London, the people I've met through this crazy blogging thing.
Pondering :: Why some people don't have "moons" on their nails and why this bothers me so.
Considering :: Whether shorter hair would be more or less time consuming.
Watching :: Orange Is The New Black, Utopia and The Great British Bake Off.
Hoping :: For more fun, more adventures, soon.

Marvelling :: At how much stuff I have managed to accumulate in a very small space.
Needing :: To have a huge sort out and give half my wardrobe to charity. To worry less.
Smelling :: Rose incense in my flat.
Wearing :: Topshop dress, bare legs, bare feet.
Following :: Symmetry Breakfast on Instragram.
Noticing :: A spider on my ceiling and trying to un-notice it.
Knowing :: That I need to start running more ahead of my half marathon.
Thinking :: Too much about everything.
Feeling :: Content, no regrets, excitement.
Admiring :: The colour of the sky at this time of night.
Sorting :: My thoughts, my belongings. An ongoing and never-ending process.
Buying :: Travel toiletries for my upcoming trip to China.
Getting :: Excited about said trip to China.
Bookmarking :: Time Out Shanghai for inspiration.
Disliking :: The spider on my ceiling.
Opening :: My post, when I remember to check it.
Giggling :: When it's most inappropriate to do so.
Snacking :: On Propercorn popcorn.
Coveting :: ASOS new season arrivals.
Helping :: Where I can.
Hearing :: Arcade Fire's - "Here Comes The Night Time".

Have you taken stock lately?

A Cultural Weekend In The City

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Well, outfit posts and burgers are cultural too, I guess.

On Saturday, Sarah and I headed to the Old Vic to see what is fast becoming the most talked-about play of the summer - Arthur Miller's The Crucible starring Richard Armitage. Having heard how long the play is, a little catch-up was in order first - reverting to true "blogger behaviour" we snapped outfit photos and headed to Byron. Sitting down for four hours calls for courgette fries and chocolate brownies.

The play was ah-mazing. Super intense throughout with great performances from all the cast, even if Mr Armitage does completely steal the show. Leaving the theatre afterwards and returning back to a sunny London afternoon felt surreal after 4 hours in 17th century Salem. A story that will stay with you long after the standing ovation and final bow. Go see it (if there are any tickets left).

Skirt: American Apparel, Sandals: Office, Skirt: Zara, Sunglasses: ASOS
Oh hi, Bryn.
Practicing sitting down ahead of the play.
Byron veggie burger and courgette fries.
Chocolate brownie sans ice cream.
"Behind slim pillar" = bargain price ticket.
One for the memories box.

Have you seen / read The Crucible?

August Empties

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Into the bin these go! It makes me realise that it was actually sunny this summer given that I used up the Hawaiian Tropic Suncream - perfect for the city as its not white or sticky but I'd always go with a higher SPF for the beach. The mini Avene moisturiser lasted through a few weekends away and the L'Oreal mascara definitely lived up to its waterproof claims (tears, swimming, thunderstorms, all night parties) but was quite hard to remove (even less fun after said all night parties). The Seventeen mascara was a great budget buy and Majorca Majolica Lash King is an Asian make-up favourite for a good reason (hoping I can re-stock in Shanghai soon). Nail polish remover and shower gel are pretty self explanatory. The Freederm helps show my skin that it's not fourteen any more, even when it tries to be (although be warned, it is very drying).

What have you used up this month?

August Bank Holiday Weekend In The City

Monday, 25 August 2014

It's the last Bank Holiday before Christmas (sob) so obviously the weather forecast was so-so.

Having neglected London a little this summer it was nice to have a weekend of solo wanderings - headphones in, trainers on and coffee in hand - just me and the city. As an obsessive planner (please give at least 3 weeks' notice for weekend plans) and a constant talker an unplanned weekend where "tall iced soya latte please thank you" was possibly my longest sentence was just what I needed!

Early morning Saturday run in the sunshine - I'm doing a half marathon in November which now seems quite close!
Beautiful display of poppies at the Tower of London. Perfect to see them in the sunshine while no one else was around.
Perfume and accessories. I got sent this little bottle of Angel as part of their #AngelCandy campaign and its the perfect summer scent. The sweet pretzel ring is from Hyper Japan.
Lunch on Brick Lane. Still not bored of falafal and halloumi! Making the most of al fresco eating while I still can.
Got my haircut - after a summer of festivals it was a bit of a mess. Amazing what different a quick trim makes and had an espresso martini while it was being cut at Taylor Taylor. Definitely going back next time!
Bank holiday mani. Super easy glitter French tips.
Sunday lift selfie. I still don't have a full length mirror in my flat (it's only been 4 months)! Vintage top, Topshop scarf and Forever 21 skirt.
I took the Thames Clipper to Greenwich - definitely the nicest form of public transport and you see things you wouldn't otherwise - this is the Traitor's Gate at the Tower of London.
Tower Bridge, not London Bridge. Had fun standing on the back deck of the boat, pretending to be a tourist and snapping away with my camera.
Nautical but nice.
Back on the Books About Town trail in Greenwich. Wandered all through the town and around the park. This is The Canterbury Tales.
The Railway Children.
Samuel Pepys' Diary.
Adrian Mole.
Dr Johnson's Dictionary.
Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.
The Origin of the Species.
We're Going On A Bear Hunt.
The Time Machine.
The view from the Observatory is one of my favourites in London, it's worth the steep climb through the park for this. I had a good wander through the park feeling like I had gone to the countryside for the day - there's just so much space!
The Jungle Book.
Elmer The Elephant.
Captain Scott's Autobiography.
Driving the boat back to central London.
I'm now feeling slightly old watching Enter Shikari at Reading Festival on iPlayer, making birthday plans for my 27th (had to double-check that the other day but, yes, I am soon to be that old) and in a slight excited panic about my up-coming trip to China in September (mostly about what I'm going to eat there) - ready for thing to get hectic again? I think so! 
How was your Bank Holiday?