Taming My Mane

Over the years, I have had a lot of different hair styles. I've changed colours from red to ombre to brown and back, and I've gone from long locks to chopped bobs with shaved bits and everything in between. 

I'm not the greatest at styling my hair now its long though, tending to opt for a bun or a high pony tail. Im a pretty rubbish girl so often look for Youtube tutorials on fishtail plaiting and how to make the most of my locks, but they never work. It always ends up as a pony tail, and thats as far as I can go!

taming my hair

Hair Straighteners

I can;t do anything without hair straighteners. My hair has a weird kink in it that blow drying struggles to sort out, and my fringe has a mind of its own. I have some portable gas ones for on the go hair mares, and my old faithful plugs ins for at home.


I'm a huge fan of TIGI, my absolute favs being the Headrush Shine Spray for a silky finish and the Elasticate conditioner which is great for maintaining long hair and sticking the split ends together until I can see my hairdresser. I use all their products, and I love them.

I love bobby pins, they save my life when my hair is having a 'mare. They tame my fringe when its not dried the way I want it to and they make even the messiest of buns look neater and tidier.

GHD Aura hairdrier

I have never used a hair dryer that makes my hair look so professionally dried, and its really easy. It feels really luxury to do your hair with this one, and it makes it so silky and smooth that sometimes I dont need to worry with the straightners. God forbid!

What can't you live without to tame your locks?

Posted on July 14, 2015 .

I Heart Travel

The Dalai Lama once said that once a year, you should go to a place that you have never been before, and this is something I embrace wholeheartedly. Last year I spent six weeks exploring New York City, tripped round Vancouver, ice dodged in Norway and experienced my first trip to Paris, and its an addiction. I love the feeling of stepping off a plane and immersing myself in a totally different country as much as I love the familiarity of going back to somewhere I have been before, which is why I take the trip to San Diego whenever I can.


The next few years are going to be a little different with my baby on the way, but I have managed to scratch the surface of Italy twice this year, a  long weekend in Portugal  and get a month in San Diego under my belt, so its not all England! We are off to Crete in three weeks for a baby moon, and then its the long way down to the baby's arrival. 

Despite all this I absolutely hate to fly. The bun fight of the low cost airline gives me nightmares, and the horror of long haul flight meals and remembering to pack enough food to keep me going for a ten hour flight drives me mad. Although I've mastered the pain of landing and now just rejoice that i've arrived, I still cant cope with the take off, I just hate it. And I can't be the only one who prays for a good movie selection on long haul flights to get me through the boredom of thinking I need the loo every half an hour.

So the Expedia Golden Age of Traveling piece has me interested. Gone are the days when lobster was served on flights, but at least the in flight entertainment is now a little more developed than some postcards and a pack of cards. Given the choice I would still chose to flight today thanks to the fairly good value cost of a trip away but I d love a lobster roll....

What would you prefer, the Glamorous Fifties or Low Cost Current Times?

This post was brought to you in partnership with Expedia; all thoughts are my own.


Posted on July 1, 2015 .

Five Happy Things

Hi, it's me.

Yes, me. Been wondering where I was? Me too to be honest. I had some highs, some lows, some highs and some even highers and I needed some time to myself to process, and to keep some secrets till I was allowed to share them. And now I'm back. I don't think I'll have too much to say for a while and I haven't missed all the social promotion at all but I have missed putting my thoughts to virtual paper and talking to you guys, so here goes.

One // I got offered a job in Seattle! I had to turn it down, but the thought that dreams can be realised is still proudly in the forefront of my mind, so no matter how big your dreams feel, go for them.

baby on board

Two // I had to turn the role and the move down because I am now three months pregnant, and so we are staying in the UK for the next couple of years at least. Its a surprise and totally unexpected, but I am looking forward to the next chapter in this eventful story. There's not much magical about being pregnant though, despite what my mother led me to believe!

Three // Going back to my roots, well, sort of. Last week I went to Portugal with some close friends to visit my Grandparents house. It was a massive emotional weekend for me as I haven't been since we lost my Granddad to cancer, very unexpectedly just short of two years ago. To see the house exactly how he left it with his handwriting on post its in the larder tugged at my heartstrings more than I thought it would, but I loved reading the notes in his restaurant recommender and visiting places that shape the fondest of my memories. It was a really special trip. Erica sums it up far better here, and this image is hers as I didn't pick up my camera once.

Four // My friends. I am a huge tangle of emotions currently thanks to the alien living inside me, but goodness I have some great friends. Special mentions to EV and SC who  adore and who provide me with such a support system, more than they know. Sure, I'm a coper, I bounce back and survive, and  love to fuss over people, but those two particularly help me with all that. So if you ever read this, I love you.

Five // Homes Under the Hammer. Don't knock it till you've tried it! I am currently not working and surviving with morning sickness (which is morning, noon and night FYI) but Homes Under the Hammer is my current addiction. Now if only I could find a spare few hundred thousand pounds I would be a property developer!

What's making you happy this week?

Posted on June 15, 2015 and filed under Happy Things.

Keeping In Step

I'm such an exercise avoider. In fact, I can think of a million and one things I would rather do that exercise, including eating burgers and washing them down with milk shakes, and laying flat and watching TV. None of these habits will get me a svelte figure like Mila Kunis though, will it?

In all actuality I don't actually really want a slim figure. I have boobs and hips, and if I lost too much weight I would look like I needed a sandwich, not like I should be hired for runway modelling, but the fact is that I want to feel healthy and strong rather than thin, and muscles are not made eating nachos all day.

Although I eat fairly healthily, the missing parts are a) consistency and b) the working out to go with it, so I decided to put my money where my mouth is and reinvest in a Fitbit. For most of 2013 and part of 2014 I lived live in easy co-existence with my FitbitOne, and then just before the wedding it dropped off my waistband somewhere between London and Guildford, never to be seen again. It really helped with the consistency portion, as it gives you a track record of where you are hitting your goals and where you aren't.

I tried the Flex for a while, but it lacks a lot of the functionality that the One had, so I decided to trade it in and try the Charge.

fitbit screengrab

I love it. I love it because it tells me how little I have done in the day, and motivates me to get up and get moving seeing as it has a friends feature, and everyone you are connected with can see how lazy you are being. Its a bit better when I'm here in California as the house is bigger, but in my one bedroom flat in London you don't have much walking to do unless you get out of the house and do it.

I have challenged myself to 10,000 steps a day, and twenty flights of stairs. I feel like if I hit the targets on this then I am doing consistent exercise, and I should start to feel the difference. Teamed with some time swimming and on the cross trainer, I am hoping that the flab around my middle might start to tone up a little, and the "are you flexing those?" arms might become a little more defined! Small steps for mankind, but huge steps for this (wo)man. 10,000 in fact!

What do you do to stay motivated when exercising? Any tips are helpful!

Posted on May 12, 2015 and filed under Fitness.

Five Happy Things

My week has been spent soaking up the sun, interviewing and working out, and its been great, so here are my five happy things!

One // I couldn't think of anywhere better to spend my last week of being twenty eight (it's my birthday on Saturday). Despite the odd lobster leg situation due to a slight sun allergy, I've been working really hard this week, in a sense.... on getting fit getting a tan and reading a long list of books!

Two// On Friday I flew to Seattle for the day. I can't talk too much about why for a while, but it was super fun, really warm (after a 6am start in an unusually wet and windy San Diego) and very pretty. I had a window seat flying home and as we took to the sky we had a jaw dropping view of Mount Ranier. I couldn't believe how beautiful it looked.

Three // Walking Torrey Pines state reserve. One of my favourite things to do in Southern California is walk Torrey Pines, a state reserve near our house. There are a number of pretty walks, but my favourite takes you up a pretty steep hill which is hell in the heat, but then plateaus and gives you the most beautiful views along the coast line before leading you down to the beach where you can walk the remaining part if the tide is low. Perfect!

Four // Dogs. I wish I could have a dog in London, but we simply don't have enough space. Here we have three full time plus a rambunctious puppy when Ben comes home. Yesterday (for Mother's Day) we walked them on the beach in the sun, with half the world seeming to be out doing the same.

Five // Excitement at heading to the tulip festival in Carlsbad today. I've heard its really pretty so I'm looking forward to seeing all the colours!

Five blogs I have loved this week:

I'm feeling my tummy rumble at the pizzas on Sweet Electric this week, especially the sweet potato crust pizza.

On the same vein, this homemade sausage cheese stromboli recipe from Call Me PMC - I have to try this!

I have really itchy feet to go back to San Franscisco after reading this post from Fly the Nest. I loved that city.

The LDN Diaries post on Refinery at Regents Place. I've tried out a few of the Drake and Morgan chain and this is right by my old work so I want to check it out.

Another Julia Styles post from Camp Patton. I love the Julia Styles and Bash Says posts, they are so funny. Grab a cup of tea and read them!

What has been making you happy this week?

Posted on May 11, 2015 and filed under Happy Things.

Spa Day in Rancho Valencia

After being packed like a sardine on an overly busy-for-a-Monday, eleven hour, long haul flight, my shoulders felt like I had been curled up for hours. And not in a good, fetal sleeping position way, but more resembling a dead spider. I oddly didn't manage to sleep at all, but watched The Hobbit, Horrible Bosses 2 (terrible), Gone Girl (also pretty dull) and Unbroken, which although not as good as the book was a pretty good adaptation.

rancho valencia spa

So it was a more than welcome surprise to be told that my aunts were treating me to a spa day at the beautiful Rancho Valencia, just over twenty four hours after I landed. I hate spa days! Said nobody, ever.

As soon as we were robed up we were ushered into a relaxation room, given green juice and fruit to nibble on, before being met by our masseuses and taken through to individual rooms with private patios. The beds were heated (take heed, England) and for the duration of the personalised massage the doors were left open so you could feel the warm breeze on your skin. Teemed with a combination of verbena and lavender oils to calm the senses and a warm wheat bag which doubled up as a pillow, I was in heaven. The hour treatment worked on the knots that I am prone to in my shoulders, and I practically floated into the changing room to bikini up.

After the treatments we took some time to sit in the outdoor jacuzzi and soak up the sun (or in my case, dash between the jacuzzi and the icy plunge pool as I can't make up my mind!) before dressing and heading to the restaurant for lunch.

You guys, the food was delicious. I opted for the lobster roll and a glass of Sauvingnon Blanc, and we ate our lunch at a slow pace, soaking up the scenery and enjoying this little enclave of paradise before heading out into normal life again.


It was one of the best massages I have ever had, and the little individual gardens really made it. Some had baths, some outdoor showers or jacuzzis and some fish ponds, but all fantastic extras to a normal treatment and the Mexican paradise style surroundings just made it. Incredible.

Posted on May 8, 2015 and filed under Beauty.

From the Bedside Table

For the next few months, I have the luxury of time. Time without a nine to five, time in Southern California and time on the Algarve. So I'm taking this newfound luxury as a sign from the universe that I need to pick up my books and start reading more. There is something so indulgent about reading; I love that its something you can do anywhere, and its so enjoyable to transport yourself to a world that you don't belong in, as if you are peering through the window on someone else's life. 

April is done, and these are back in the library:

The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton

3/5 - This one was a slow burner for me; a tale where a girl marries into a family that aren't quite what they seem, and the series of events that play out are predicted by a miniaturist who sends her little dolls. Well worth a read, but don't expect it to have you captivated from the start.

Dark Matter: A Ghost Story - Michelle Paver

4/5 - I loved this. It's very different from my comfortable reading genre, but enthralling all the same. It documents an exhibition to the Arctic and what the crew find there; the build up is incredible an the result is very atmospheric and chilling.

The Wrong Knickers, A Decade of Choas - Bryony Gordon

2/5 - After all  the hype of this, I wasn't a fan. It read to me like a sad story of a teenager gone off the rails, although towards the end I did start to enjoy it. I feel like the next part of her story might be more apt for me, but there is only so much not-really-funny stories you can read about someones drunk and drug addles antics.

The Book Thief - Marcus Zuzak

5/5 - I read this on the recommendation of Katy, and loved it. Its the best book I have read so far this year; the perspective is really unusual and I read it in forty eight hours. It tells the story from the point of view of the Grim Reaper and tells the story of a little girl as she lives through Nazi Germany.

The Boys in the Boat - Daniel James Brown

5/5 - A true story of the boys who won Gold for rowing at the Berlin Olympics in 1936, this book is a true tale of an underdog. Again, I wasn't totally hooked at first, but as the stories develop and weave amongst the others, it became a book I couldn't put down, reading late into the night. It reminded me of Unbroken, and was a brilliant read.

Lined up and ready to go:

Letters to my Husband - Stephanie Butland.

The Girl With the Fragile Mind - Claire Seeber

What are you reading? And what would you recommend?

Posted on May 6, 2015 and filed under Books, Lifestyle.

Five Happy Things

Although the temperature has dropped in San Diego this weekend, its super sunny and still way warmer than the UK, which is making me happy. Despite a little sun allergy and a burn on the back of my neck (I'm so good at remembering sunscreen, but I forgot my neck) my skin loves the sun, and its good for the soul too.

One // Family. I've got to hang out with my cousin Emily a lot this week, and both boys came home from University this weekend. Was lovely to catch up.

Two // Spa days! I was treated to an amazing spa trip on Wednesday at Rancho Valencia, an amazing Spanish style hotel and spa in San Diego. It was incredible. The room has its own little garden so you could feel the breeze on you during the treatment, and after we lounged in the pool and then had a leisurely lunch (plus wine) in the restaurant. It was lovely, and such a wonderful treat.

Three // Sephora, Trader Joes, Bath and Body Works, Marshalls.... I love American stores. I can get lost in Sephora for hours and I love the shops that we don't get in the UK. I've spent hours this week wandering around my favourites and stocking up!

Four // The beach. There is something so calming about the beach for me, and I have been trying to get out and walk a stretch of it every day, whether it be taking the dogs to run or speed walking to get the steps in on my new Fitbit. I love exercising by the ocean and so i'm back in my happy place.

Five // Chilling with Bronson. My cousin turned twenty one at start of the year and bought himself a puppy. Saturday night was spent with said puppy passed out on me, snoring like an old man. Its love.

Five blogs I have loved this week:

The Runaway Kiwi's post on the best brunch spots in London. I LOVE brunch, and have ben to hardly any of these places! Warning, not for the peckish!

I loved reading The New Wifestyle's post on 8 Unwavering Things About her Husband. So cute!

Summer is coming, and I'm always inspired by things to do in London. Girl vs Globe has a good round up here.

I'm currently reading a fantastic book, The Boys on the Boat, but I need a new one for once I have finished so Amanda's recommendations are fab!

The general election is in a few days, and Becky's post on who people are voting is really interesting. If you are struggling for a decision, you should read it.

Posted on May 5, 2015 and filed under Happy Things.

The Dread of a Job Interview

Job interviews. One of the most stressful situations we find ourselves in as adults, but one of the best ways of driving your career forward and bettering yourself for the future. But in all honesty, there is nothing worse, is there?

I have been employed by the same company for five years, so the thought of job interviews gives me sweaty palms and anxious dreams. I'm good at pitching new business ideas to new people and I don't by any stretch of the imagination have a fear of speaking in front of crowds, but only when I'm confident of the subject matter. In a job interview you can't always predict the questions, and thats what keeps me awake at night.

What to wear is also a total conundrum. I hate to feel overdressed (its so embarrassing when you walk into an office in a suit to find a guy in jeans and a tshirt) but at the same time there is no bigger faux pas for a job interview than being underdressed. If your Mum would give you a look then don't even go there, and don't forget that it might be summer, but you need to dress appropriately, but in such a way that you don't look like a massive sweat ball by the time you have negotiated public transport and the short walk either side.

I chose simply. A light dress that looks smart enough for an interview but that I feel comfortable in, paired with flat black ballet pumps. A job interview is not the time to be trying to wear in new shoes or trying my hand at heels after the incident where I got my heel caught in a drain, fell flat and had a huge gash in my knee by the time I arrived at reception, so I stick to something that is tried and tested and that I can rely on. I always choose a bag large enough to put a notebook and pen in because I'm terrible remembering names. I find it confusing if there is more than one person in the interview so a book to surreptitiously jot down names is essential to me, and a handy pocket to put my phone (turned to silent) into.

Dress: Urban Outfitters, old season | Shoes: George at ASDA | Handbag: Pied a Terre for House of Fraser*.

Do you have a go to outfit for interviews? What do you find the most daunting part and how do you get through it?


* Some items featured in this post were gifted but all thoughts are my own.

Posted on April 30, 2015 and filed under Fashion.

{recipe} Croissant and White Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding

A few weeks ago, my Mum came up for dinner, and I decided that I would treat her and cook her a two course meal with plenty of wine. After all, she is incredible and sometimes she just deserves a treat.

I made these pies, but the dessert was a lot harder to choose. I can do sticky toffee pudding and lemon meringue, but I wanted to widen the net of my skills and make something new. I opted for white chocolate croissant bread and butter pudding.

Once it was all cooked, I remembered: my Mum hates bread and butter pudding. OOPS.

It turns out that this dessert tastes nothing like the pappy texture of when bread is soaked in milk; the croissants give it a completely different texture and the addition of white chocolate into the dessert takes away any slight eggy taste that is often synonymous with a traditional bread and butter pudding.

It was delicious!

If you are looking for a really luxurious pudding to complete a lazy Sunday dinner (and aren’t worried about calories!) then this is the one for you.

The full recipe can be found here.

Bread and butter pudding - love it or hate it?

Posted on April 30, 2015 and filed under Food / Recipes / Reviews.