Thursday, 24 May 2018

A TOUCH OF PINK


Okay slightly unrelated but the title of this post reminded me of the Touch of Pink fragrance by Lacoste, and now I can't stop thinking about it. I don't think you were a teenage girl in the naughties if you didn't spritz that stuff all over you after a P.E. lesson; that, and the Charlie body sprays but we're getting off-topic here...

Pink! I bought a pink chair. A pink, brushed velvet chair. And I'm in love. 

This past weekend, I spent my Sunday completely spring cleaning my bedroom. Not the quick tidy-up you would expect. It turned into washing and repainting the walls, cleaning the skirting boards, washing my curtains and bedding, sorting out clothes to take to charity, flipping my mattress and pretty much just having a massive clear out. It was almost shameful how many empty boxes I found under my bed. I'm turning into a bit of a minimalist as I get older so this blitz was desperately needed. I was going to do a complete bedroom tour but I'm still waiting on a few decor items to come, and I couldn't help but show off my beautiful baby pink "occasional" chair as soon as I possibly could.

I spent a long time searching for the perfect chair to match in with my bedroom theme. All of my furniture is white (family, friends and Instagram followers alike know I love the whole white aesthetic!), the walls are white but I have a grey feature wall so baby pink seemed to be a good transition shade to tie everything together and make the room feel a bit more homey. I umm'd and ahh'd about whether or not to get a grey fabric chair, but worried it would be too much and the room would be too cold. The chair I settled on is from Wayfair and is classed on the website as a cocktail chair with blossom pink upholstery. It comes in various colours and had 30% off so I was thrilled to discover it on my internet travels. The chair is so comfortable to sit on, and much wider than I thought (I did measure the space to see if it would fit where I wanted it to go before I bought it) - a definite upgrade from the little hard white stool I used for my dressing table before this! A couple of other details; it was dispatched within 24 hours and they call you an hour before it's due to be delivered which was really handy, especially as it needed a signature upon arrival. It came in a huge box and assembly was required for the wooden legs, which took no more than 10 minutes to do. 

Now, for the rest of the decor. The sheepskin rug sometimes lives on the back of the chair, and that was £35 from Dunelm, as was the cushion which was half price at only £5 (they have a great selection on their website). I might have bought two of these originally for my bed but I think it looks rather nice on the chair now I've taken photos! I really like Dunelm for home decor at the moment. A new branch opened in my hometown just before Christmas and it's huge and affordable, so I find myself in there a lot. The fake peonies and vase were both from Homesense - another great store for all your homeware needs. I think the peonies were £2.99 each, but the brighter pink ones were actually from John Lewis ages ago so it wasn't that expensive to buy a couple of stems. And who can put a price on forever flowers?!

If you guys would like a full bedroom tour please let me know. I'd love to show you around and give you some ideas on how to style smaller spaces. Oh, and opinions on the chair of dreams are also welcome. I'm going to be sitting pretty every morning when I do my makeup from now on!
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Friday, 18 May 2018

WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING • TWO

THE RAIN
I absolutely love anything to do with Scandinavia. I've seen quite a few foreign shows and they all seem to be shot with this sort of cinematic blue tinge, adding to the cold creepiness that is often symbolic of these types of European dramas. I was proper sucked into The Rain. So much so that I binged-watched it in two evenings... The synopsis is as follows: 'Six years after a terrible virus carried by the rain wiped out almost all humans in Scandinavia, two Danish siblings, Simone and Rasmus, emerge from the safety of their bunker to find all remnants of civilisation gone. Soon they join a group of young survivors and together set out on a danger-filled quest through abandoned Scandinavia, searching for any sign of life. Set free from their collective past and societal rules the group has the freedom to be who they want to be. In their struggle for survival, they discover that even in a post-apocalyptic world there’s still love, jealousy, coming of age, and many of the problems they thought they’d left behind with the disappearance of the world they once knew.' The show is Danish, but dubbed over with English, which surprisingly wasn't distracting at all. It has some wonderful acting, including the Danish equivalent of Richard Armitage (seriously, look up Mikkel Følsgaard, I'm a little bit in love). The story was left quite open-ended so I'm hoping there will be a second season to follow. If you start watching one series this weekend, let it be this one, you'll be hooked!

TASKMASTER
The newest series of Taskmaster is back on our screens and I couldn't be happier. If you've never heard of it - which you need to get with it because it's hilarious - it's basically a comedy panel game where Greg Davies (the Taskmaster) sets simple yet comedic tasks to five regular contestants, all of which are British comedians or personalities. Alex Horne is Greg's assistant, and his comedy is so bizarre but funny (he's actually the one who created/wrote the show but is the butt of most jokes). So far there have been 6 series and a Champion of Champions spin-off. Each episode starts with a prize task, where the contestants each donate a prize to offer up following a given theme e.g. their most prize possession, and the winner of the episode receives all of these prizes at the end of the show. Three or four pre-filmed tasks follow, usually taking place in and around the Taskmaster house. Tasks are delivered to the players in an envelope with a wax seal, which the player reads aloud: e.g. "Completely empty this bathtub – fastest wins". After the tasks are shown to the audience, the players justify their creative methods and argue to Greg – and among themselves – as to why they did best. After all the attempts at the task have been seen, judgement is passed by Davies and points are awarded (or players disqualified) accordingly. The final challenge is performed live in the studio. In the event of a tie, the winner is decided by a special tie-breaker task, which may either be pre-filmed or performed live. In addition to the prizes for each episode, at the end of each series a trophy is presented to the contestant who has scored the most points over the course of the entire series. From the second series onwards, the trophy took the form of a golden bust of Greg, which is kind of terrifying! It's just an all-round easy thing to sit down and have a giggle at. You can see all seasons on UKTV Play (highly recommend) and the newest series is shown on Dave, Wednesdays at 9pm.

SAFE
The latest victim to my Netflix binge, this 8-part drama would be fitting on BBC One primetime. Very Broadchurch-esque, Safe uncovers a mystery revolving around the disappearance of a doctor's young daughter and the death of her older boyfriend. It's created by crime author Harlan Corben, and is full of twists and turns, dead ends, flashbacks from different characters' points of view, and will leave you wanting to keep watching. It stars a great cast, including Michael C Hall, Amanda Abbingdon, Marc Warren and Laila Rouass. Honestly it had me hooked, and I don't want to give too much away, but it's definitely worth the watch if you like suspense, mystery, thriller type shows. 

EUROVISION
Of course I watched Eurovision; I absolutely love it! Even though the United Kingdom never has a chance at winning - let's face it, Europe hates us since Brexit and it's all political voting anyway (neighbours voting for neighbours and all that!) - we all still have a party and dress up. This year I was pooled to dress up as Azerbaijan... I know, I couldn't think of anything else but to paint a flag on my face and a drape a flag around me. What made it worse is that Azerbaijan didn't even make it through to the final on the Saturday night so I looked a right pillock! It was still such a fun night though, and I always love Graham Norton's sarcastic commentary.

REAL HOUSEWIVES
As you can probably gather I watch a whole mixture of things, but trash television is a guilty pleasure of mine. I was obsessed with Real Housewives of Orange County back when I was at uni; I used to come home and it would be on ITV2 so I could sit for an hour and just wind down while rich blonde tanned women fought like banshees across the pond. I only recently got back into it (thanks ITVBe...) but I'm hooked on all the American versions once again although I definitely have an order of preference. Orange County and Beverly Hills will always be the front-runners for me. New York follows as the drama is intense but hilarious (and Bethenny Frankel is one of my all-time favourite housewives). New Jersey is just too staged and crazy for me. Atlanta was a lot better when Kim and Nene were both on it. And I don't think I've seen much of Miami or Washington D.C. One thing is for sure though, the British version (Real Housewives of Cheshire) is truly awful and I have to switch it off! Reality television is something America does so well. With the exception of our beloved Love Island, of course.
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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

BANK HOLIDAY


Pretty much all of the UK enjoyed a scorcher of a bank holiday, which is so rare. I don't know why this never happens but you can bet that everyone took full advantage of the gorgeous sunshine last weekend and beyond. I'm in two minds about living in a seaside village. On the one hand, I have the choice of three beaches; one of which is a literal five-minute walk away from my house. On the other, the summer months and public holidays are an absolute nightmare.

I hate to sound like a grumpy old woman, because I understand that our little village benefits hugely from the revenue that tourism brings, but it's soul-destroying at times. I think it's mostly about respect. A glimpse of sunshine and everyone who's anyone flocks down to our beaches. Traffic stretches back for miles, so if you're wanting to travel anywhere as a local, you've got no chance. It's sad to think that tourists can be so careless; people basically park where they like (including double yellow lines, in front of residents' driveways and sometimes even IN them) they leave the beaches in such a state, and as someone who works in retail, can be incredibly rude and disrespectful to locals. I apologise for this little rant. In no way do I want the tourism to stop, but I just wish people would be a bit more courteous and respectful when it comes to our home. At the end of it all they get to leave, it would be nice if they took their rubbish with them!

That being said, this bank holiday weekend was lovely on a personal level. I worked my busiest Saturday of the year so far (solo, I might add) then went out to dinner with my best friend for a massive catch-up. We went to ASK Italian for four courses and a bottle of rosé, which was much needed after the day I'd had! On Sunday, I went to my usual hatha yoga class, ate breakfast al fresco, and then joined more friends down the beach for a BBQ in the evening. We managed to stay long enough to catch a glimpse of the sunset (how gorgeous was that?!) Monday I had an amazing lay-in and then lazed about, sunbathed in the garden, before another family BBQ at home. Safe to say, all that fun in the sun knackered me out.

Hope you all had a fun bank holiday weekend! What did you get up to?
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Sunday, 6 May 2018

COFFEE ON A CLOUDY DAY


I love my hometown. It's one of the smallest cities in the UK so everyone just calls it a town. "I'm just popping into town" is one of my most frequently used phrases, I think! The above are a few recent photographs taken with my iPhone 7, and then enhanced in the VSCO app to adjust the brightness that an overcast day doesn't provide. Chichester is a beautiful city, even on a cloudy day. It has so much history and the buildings are so pretty and interesting to look at! I've discovered "golden hours" in terms of busyness - there's basically not a lot of people about early in the morning (8-10am) and in the evening (6-7pm summertime) so these were all snapped around those hours, if you know where to go to avoid all the tourists.

Most Sunday mornings, myself and my friend Lauren go to an 8am hatha yoga class. I know, 8am on a Sunday sounds criminal, but it's actually been amazing for setting us up for the day. The class is local, very small, and lasts about an hour. It's also by the sea which helps with relaxation, especially on a warm day where we can have the studio doors open. We can stand and chat with our instructor for 15 minutes to half an hour after every class as well. We're quite counterproductive; in that, we almost always go for breakfast after yoga, and it's usually a naughty one. We often look like sweaty messes but this is what we do. This is our life. It's become routine. 

On this particular Sunday, we drove into town and stopped by Carluccio's. Aside from their overly-dramatic, completely over the top Italian manager (I'm convinced he's not really Italian, it's that OTT), I have to say that their coffee is delicious. As I get older, I'm starting to love coffee more and more. And the smell of freshly ground coffee beans in the morning, well, there's nothing like it. I opted for a cappuccino, which came with a chocolate-covered coffee bean, and Lauren had a latte. For food, we both ordered the eggs benedict, and finished our morning meal with a croissant - almond for Lauren, pistachio for myself. Oh my goodness, that pistachio croissant though... I still think about to this day! It was amazing, with its super vibrant thick green pistachio paste inside and chopped pieces of nut on top. All the heart eye emojis! I'll definitely be going back, even if it's just for a bunch of them to takeaway.

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