Sunday, 8 January 2017

Dancing through December

Winter is the perfect time for a spot of shearling.
Whether that's long and swooping along the floor like you're part of a 90s pop music video, or short and denim like a 19-year-old hipster. 

You know what the other thing that's great in December? Red. All the red during the festive season please. Whether that's a simple and bold lippy, a punky pleated skirt or a sparkly slogan sweat. 

And on the days you're feeling really lazy? An oversized 101 Dalmations sweatshirt with a big ol' Lazy Oaf heart. 
Sassy over the knee boots optional.

And when the festive season gets all too much, put on your chunkiest and coziest piece of knitwear to hide the fact that you've eaten so many pigs in blankets that you've in fact, become an actual pig in blanket.

As a regular Mrs.Christmas myself, it'll surprise no-one that I'll have festive headgear on me more often than not. Whether it's more on the subtle side with a sprig of mistletoe or go all-singing, all-dancing with a flashing headband of tinsel. 

Throw in a pair of pom-pom earrings and a metallic gold skirt and you're ready for a night out of fizz and festivities. 

But you know, there's times you have to go hog-wild and when those times call, find you're jazziest Winter Slopes top and matching it with a shimmering, mermaid pleated number...

Or why hold back? Deck your jumper with boughs of holly and tie that tutu round your waist.

And who says clothes get to have all the fun. Time to fab up the hair with hues or purples and blues. 

But the star of the show? The star at the top of the December tree? This magical LBD.

Sparkly stars ahoy, and a crown to finish the whole thing off because you know, it was just a bit too low-key.
The look of a girl living her best life y'all. Living. Best. Life.

Until next time,
A.x

Monday, 2 January 2017

Month by Numbers: skates, stars & shimmying

7 favourites...


1.) There’s been ice-skating, there’s been present opening and there’s been drinking. Oh my has there been drinking…I think at one point it was just pure prosecco and cocktails running though my veins. Festivities to the max y’all.

2.) This month has been filled with a lot of work-related fun outside of work time. This time last year I had lost one job, working a freelance job, and hunting for another job. It was lonely and soul detroying to be quite honest, but this year could not be more different. Colleagues have become more than just that and are now friends, and I danced with them along to cheesy festive songs, drank with them in cringey christmas jumpers and boozy brunch-ed with them on a Sunday afternoon. Once upon a time in Sheffield, me and my bestie said ‘imagine if one day we’re both journalists, living in London & in the same office!’ and lo and behold, here we are! From shorthand lectures together to dancing the night away at the office Christmas party together. And I could not be happier or how it’s all turned out and the new friends I’ve made in my life because of it.


3.) Every year some some of my closest friends and I get together and have a Christmas weekend together, or as we call it, Hunmas (long story). We stayed up until the early hours of the morning swapping secret santa presents, we drank wine, we ice-skated, we ate food and we talked the world to rights. That how weekend with these girls usually go and they never, ever get old and I’m always planning and feeling psyched for the next one.


4.) One of the perks of my job is I get to go to cool events, and one of the more recent and also coolest things I’ve been to is the Christmas party that Netflix held. Not only were there sets made up to look like some of their original shows, but the actors and actresses dressed up in those sets never went out of character and pulled up in to get involved.

 I essentially played charades with Queen Elizabeth on the set of The Crown. There was cocktails being passed around, I took full advantage of the gif-making photo booth, and there was a free chrome cast in my goodie bag to take home. Oh and I met Bake-Off winner and queen, Candice Brown, who I just banged on about how she slays the lipstick game and I love her piggy sausage rolls. So there was that too...good job Netflix.

5.) And one of the other perks of my job is that I get opportunities to go to stuff that I’ve loved for years, like Strictly Come Dancing. It’s the one show me and my whole family all love - it’s just pure joy! And after the hellish year my mum’s been through, it was an absolute privilege to be able to take her and every now and again, I was sneakily look over at her and she was laughing and enjoying herself with so much joy. It filled my heart up with so much love and not gonna lie, it filled my eyes up with tears.


6.) Christmas calories don’t count, and i may have taken that motto a bit too seriously. Just maybe. My body is made completely out of pigs in blankets, Quality Street sweets and red wine right now. i think when you you cook essentially a Christmas dinner in a pie and plait the crust of it and feeling like flipping Snow White, you’re in full on festive mode aren’t you? I’ve even been gifted sparkly jam that has prosecco and actual glitter in. I mean, I’m living my best damn life right now, but my waistline and health says otherwise.


7.) Living your best life during Christmas consists of mainly of drinking, dancing, partying and not much sleeping. And as much as i love a life of that, it starts to take it’s toll, and that’s when it’s time to hop of a train back to the shire and switch off for a bit. My fave thing about Christmas is how people bound together with joy and I’m lucky enough to have an amazing family full of love to share that with. And being an aunty in that family to 3 gorgeous nephew and nieces means i get to spoil them rotten and seeing their faces and reactions of pure, unadulterated excitement when they open presents that i’ve put so much thought into buying, makes me feel like there’s no better way for me to spend my hard-earned money.

5 tweets...
1.) My neck hurts from too many hair whips on the dancefloor & I'm still finding glitter on me - THAT'S how fun the xmas party was last night ๐ŸŽ„
2.) Have come to China Town for dim sum with family. Randomly developed a rash out of the blue - am I allergic to my own culture?! ๐ŸŽŽ
3.) My friend just told me I look like I'm straight out of a 90s music video & I couldn't be happier with comparison ❄️
4.) Nephew's present consists of Star Wars, Pokรฉmon & McFly's @TomFletcher. Couldn't be more excited, pysched & proud of that combo ๐ŸŽ #TopAunty
5.) What do you mean I have to go to work tomorrow and can't sleep in till 10am and have a cheese board as a snack?

3 songs…
1.) Gallant -  Weight In Gold
The coolest, most chilled vibes you could want to balance all the cheese and excitement of December. I started hearing this and was thinking ‘oh this is cool, I feel like i’ve come across this sound before?’ And that would be because they supported Jack Garratt when I went to see him and I can say they are fucking brilliant live so go and do that guys and girls.

2.) Barbara Streisand - Rain on my Parade
I found myself listening to this many a morning on my commute, and i think it was solely to psych myself up to get myself to work and make my commute that bit less shit and that bit more chipper.

3. ) JC Cooper - September song
December is an odd time to feel all summery, but this is what this song did. And as much as I am essentially Mrs.Christmas, this made me look forward to sunny summers to come and feel nostalgic about sunny summers past.

Until next time,
A.x

Saturday, 31 December 2016

6 commandments of 2016


Right, no surprises how this is going to start because 2016 has been a bit of a funny one hasn't it? There's been icons cruelly taken from us, people less than admirable voted into positions of power, and Sean Paul was Christmas no.1

I was talking to someone about this shambles of a year, and they said 'but I think you, personally, have had a pretty good year. Has it been a good year with shit bits, or a shit year with good bits?' I've thought about this, over and over again, and I truly don't know.
This year, generally and personally, has been so turbulent with more ups and downs than Tigger on speed.
But there have been some consistencies that have stuck throughout these 365 days, and me and my life are all the richer for it.

So I present to you, the 6 commandments that got me through 2016...

1.) Thou shall bawl my eyes out
A lot of shit went down and a lot of people said goodbye that affected me more than I ever expected it too. I was down and disappointed about Brexit. I was sad and couldn’t stop listening to Purple Rain on repeat. And I felt silly about how it had made me feel, how emotional I got about it…but I really shouldn’t have.
 These people broke boundaries of social perception, they were brave, they were outspoken, they were hilarious, they bought joy into people’s life and they made others feel less alone. And for these personalities to stop existing anymore, well yeah, hell it’s upsetting.
It's been more emotionally harrowing this year than any other. From feeling part of my national identity was no more, to trying to put aside my emotional feelings to deal with practicalities through heartbreaking personal times.
Sadness is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign that you care. So put on your homegirl Adele and sob your little heart out because at the end of the day, it’ll feel so much better when you say hello on the other side. 

2.) Thou shall not let bitches kill my vibe
Look, we’ve each got our own shit to deal. I get it. But you taking out your drama on me, is not ok hun. Here I was just here chilling, until you bloody rained on my parade. Making me feel shit so you feel better is just not on. It’s like i’m just skipping along in life with my ballon, and you come over and pop it, like…what the fuck?

3.) Thou shall learn to do fuck all
I’m not very good at not doing much. On the rare weekend I don’t have plans and I plan to just be a couch potato and watch everything on the weekend, more often than not, I fail. UNTIL NOW.
I don't know it's down to my career being more demanding, my social life being busier, or feeling more emotional draining than ever, but this year I’m really mastered the art of doing squat all.
Even when I go away, usually I fill it to the brim with activities and trips to every monument and sight going (I love me a pretty cathedral) but this summer when I went to Ibiza, I did not much else than have walks in the sun, read on the beach, dance the night away and talk the world to rights over sangria and tapas.
Sometimes you really need to make plans to have no plans just to reset and recalibrate. Take time out to look after yourself y'all.

4) Thou shall not shut up about feminism
And I’m not going to step until men and women have equality rights, in all aspects. End of. 
If you need me, you can usually find me banging on about why we’re still not quite there yet (while on my 4th pint at the pub), retweeting all things Caitlin Moran or spontaneously shouting ‘yasss!’ on the train while reading Amy Poehler. 

5.) Thou shall stand up for one's self.
I hate confrontation and because of there, more often than not I’ll just take myself away from the situation and sit on the sidelines with a gin & tonic and stroking a puppy until it all blows over.
But sadly, my reluctancy for drama and desire for harmony gets taken advantage of, and that’s really not on boo.
So, I told myself to be brave, speak my mind, share my thoughts, be fair and not be aggressive about it.
Whether it’s someone I thought was a friend or someone who’s feelings for me made have hopes of a future together - I’m not there for you to walk over, talk down to, and believe me babes, you haven’t got my feelings sussed out (as much as you’d like to think you have).
Not here to cause a scene but I might be stronger than you think I am and I’m not going to let you make me feel otherwise. 

6. Thou shall fight back
Against inequality and injustice. Whether that be race, gender equality, social class, LGBTQ+ rights or poverty. Unfortunately, life isn’t fair - wouldn't it be swell if it was?
Good people get dealt bad hands and so-called bad people get fucking sweet deals. That’s just how things are sometimes sadly.

But the worst thing to do is sit back and just take it as it is.
Instead, speak out, get involved - fight the hell back.
And if anyone’s taught me how to fight back like a boss this year, is my mum.
After getting diagnosed and having surgery complications, she never gave up. And never will I again about anything or anyone I care or feel passionate about. 

2016. You’ve been a right doozy, but I’m a strong believer than that things happen for a reason. Yes we’ve cried some tears and might have been knocked back, but I’m a tougher, more informed, passionate person who gave a real fuck, because of it. So cheers for that...I guess?

2017, please be kinder and bring more hope.

Until next time...
A.x