30 January 2013

Cocktail, Straight Ahead!

There are things that every girl with a love of a pair of heels should know.  One of those things is don't organise a night out in January, because snow tends to argue with heels.  Snow usually wins.

This weekend however I was in a head to head with snow, as I was going on a long arranged night out in Manchester, staying over at the Premier Inn.  This had been booked and arranged for months, so snow was just going to have to reach a compromise.

After a somewhat fraught journey on the bus over to Manchester, with my friend and I praying that the bus wasn't going to slide in the ice on the motorway, we finally arrived at the Premier Inn.  After a much needed glass of wine after check in we were restored to happy and excited for the night ahead.

I was going to take pictures of the room but let's face it, most of us have been to or seen pictures of the rooms.  Clean, spacious, comfortable bed.  The usual.  The only trouble we could foresee in our room was that the beds were on wheels, visions of bed dodgems on the return home came to mind.

After a recommendation from a friend, we decided that The Alchemist was going to be our starting point as I had heard rave reviews about the cocktails, and the fact that they had a 50% off food offer was a definate bonus. 

I would definately recommend going, after sharing a bottle of wine, one cocktail, a shared platter and a main course each, coming away having only spent £20.00 (including a decent tip) is a rare thing indeed. 

I didn't manage to take too many photographs on the night, and none of me all dressed up, but here are a few of what I was wearing, and some of the cocktails we indulged in!
The only pic I have of my dress, dotted pink with a peplum!

An English Cherry Sour

The obligatory Cosmopolitan - buy one get one free!

A Bubblegum Daiquiri, with popping candy!
Mojito - fresh mint or no dice

Stop the Cull

I’m not the type of person that can say silent when something is happening that I disagree with.  I have to speak, take action, do something.  I am not a part of the silent majority.  I believe that in order to invoke change, you need to do something about it.  Staying silent gets you nowhere.

Some may say what can one person do?  What change can you hope to effect on your own?  Well, on my own, not much, but in a collective of similar minds, a lot. 

The change I want to effect is to quash the badger cull which is due to take effect in June 2013.  For those who aren’t aware, the Government originally planned the cull last year, in an effort to bring TB under control.

After over 150,000 signed a petition against the cull, scientists confirmed that a badger cull would not help matters and indeed would make it worse, the MPs voted and with a majority of 147 to 28 voting against the cull.
Despite all of this, the Goverment has now done an aboutface and rescheduled the cull.

I can’t help but think that the badger is merely the scapegoat for the fox.  Foxhunting is now illegal and Mr Cameron’s friends need something to shoot.  Why when faced with public opinion, it’s own MPs voting against and the scientific community asking that this cull be stopped, is it still going ahead?

I, like many many others have posted the E-Petition link on Twitter, on Facebook, and now I add it to this blog.  There are nearly 170,000 signatures now on the petition.  Don’t look at it as “There are enough people on there that have signed, I won’t bother”.  That is exactly the same as if you had looked at the petition at it’s inception and said “There are only a couple of signatures, I won’t bother”.

Please bother, please sign, please don’t be a part of the silent collective that watch as things happen. 

For more information: see here
You'll miss us when we are gone

22 January 2013

Hate isn't Attractive

Now, I know that if you are going to read an article, and I use the term article loosely, on MailOnline, you are opening a can of worms. 

This post however really really made me mad, not for the contents of the article, but by the comments made by the general public.
So, what the article about?  Essentially featuring a photograph of three plus size girls, two of whom I follow on Twitter @CallieThorpe and @fullerfigurefullerbust  The article was talking about fashion, how much of it was available to the plus sized market and speaking about the fashion blogs run the girls in question.
The girls featured came across as confident, sassy and sure in who they were and what they thought.   If only we all could feel like that!  How many women do you know who constantly bemoan their figure, who are underconfident, shy and hide themselves away?  These women, whether plus sized, skinny, ten foot tall or whatever should be applauded. 
I moved on to the comments section however and what I read there truly appalled me.  There is so hatred out there.  I won't repeat the comments.  Although some were positive, a lot ranged from pure insult to accusing the women in the article of encouraging obesity and giving their children the wrong idea of how you should look.

Most figures suggest that the majority of trolls are men, and teenagers.  This did not appear to be the case here.  The majority was women.

So here's what I think.  We should feel sorry for the people who commented, feel really sorry for them.  They are unhappy people.

If you are happy in your life, if you are happy in the way you look, if you are confident and secure in yourself, you have no need to insult others.  What I see behind the comments are people who are insecure, unhappy with the way they look, be it size 22 or size 12, large nose or small nose, large breasts or small breasts.  They feel the need to disparage others as they cannot force themselves to look at what the real problem is, themselves.

The women in the article show women how we actually should be, confident, happy, self secure and out in the world.  I want to be a woman like that.

19 January 2013

Bambi Learns to Walk

As I have mentioned in a recent post, I'm the human Bambi on ice.  Find the smallest patch of ice on the ground and you can guarantee that I will find it, slip on it and usually fall on my ass.  It's quite irritating and very embarrassing.

I'm the girl you see clinging to the wall or anything sturdy to keep me upright, even when most others are walking normally and not slipping.  If there was an Olympic medal in most likely to slip over even in the most unlikely of circumstances, I would win gold.

This year though, it was time to regain the outdoors.  I have purchased a pair of ice cleats for my shoes and have decided to do a review on them, purely for the fact that until someone told me about them last year, I wasn't aware that they even existed.

Made of rubber, designed to attach to the front and back of your shoe
They are a lot sharper than I'd anticipated
but I guess they need to be

Spikes at the front and back of your shoe

Ignore the filing cabinets!
Once on they are barely noticeable
I bought these from a local sports shop for £10.00 although I have seen different varieties of them online from £5.00 all the way up to £30.00.  

When someone suggested me buying them, having explained what they were I have to admit that I wasn't overly optimistic.  How would they work, could I balance on them, would I really be able to work without looking like an idiot..... The only way I was going to to find out was to try.

I first used them yesterday.  I walked out of the bus station, encountered the snow and ice patches and decided to have a go.  

Firstly, find something that you can balance against when putting them on.  Although the rubber on each end was very easy to attach to my boots, I couldn't have balanced properly without using a wall to lean against.  I did get a few looks I will admit as everyone else was happily walking along in their boots, but sod them, I need industrial help.

After a few metres of walking in them, not sure how to shift my balance and with no confidence that I wouldn't slip whatsoever, I began to realise that they do actually work.  I'll clarify that, THEY BLOODY WORK!!!!!

There I was, after years and years of shuffling on snow, falling over and getting a million funny looks as I battled with the weather, I could walk!  I even found myself purposely going for the more icy patches just to test them, and was able to walk over anything.

Anyone who is reading this and has been the same over Winters as I have, practically disabled by the weather, I urge you, buy them.  

17 January 2013

I'm Now Officially Old

I'm now officially old.  I haven't had a birthday or anything like that, but I have reached a point that in my youth, I swore would never happen.  I have fallen out of love with "going out on the town".

When I say going out on the town however, let me be a little more specific.  Because we all know that there is "going out on the town" and bar trawling.  My town, god love it, is a bar trawling type of place.  Many bars that you can frequent over the weekend, nightclubs offering cheap drinks, dancing until dawn rises if you want to.

I would go out with my friends all weekend and for years, the magic of a "night out down town" was there.  Overcrowded was "it's busy so it's cool", the age limit of over 25 in the nightclub was a weekend game to be played and usually won.  Weekends were edged in a kind of magic, where everything was fun, romance and whatever you wanted was there for the taking.

For money, work, university and a million other reasons, I haven't been out into the town on a weekend for a very long time.  Over Christmas I went to a party and afterwards, we decided on a foray into town to hit a couple of bars.  That's when it hit me.  The magic had gone.  I stayed for a couple of drinks and then made a rapid escape, via the kebab shop though, some things will never change.  Food at the end of the night will always cure most of your hangover.

I realised the next day however that it wasn't the magic that had gone from the town.  The town hadn't changed.  The bars had changed over the years but were still there, the cheap drinks, the masses of people out for a good time.  No, it wasn't the town that had changed, it was me. For one thing, I could no longer go out with just a purse in my hand with a lipstick crammed in, how did I ever manage????

My 30's are just as much fun as my 20's, just in a different way.  My idea of a great night out is now somewhat more expensive, but as I don't go out nearly as much as I used to, this type of night has become more affordable.

See, she's still there, just better dressed and drinking cocktails ;)
So hence, I'm sat here planning a night away in Manchester next Friday.  The hotel is booked, just a Premier but who needs something fancy for a one night stay, the eating place is chosen, in this case Revolution which does nice on the go food well, with good cocktails and then off to sample some more cocktails at the delights of the Alchemist Bar.  

Good friends, great conversation, lots of laughs, cocktails, a night away and a good breakfast in the morning.  That's my style these days.  What's yours? 

13 January 2013

Snow is Falling

Cold weather isn't all bad.  Cozying up in front of the fire, warm soft clothes, comfortable layers.  Cold weather isn't all bad, if I could stay inside the house that is.  Outside brings snow, ice, freezing cold standing at the bus stop, falling frequently on my ass and feeling generally petrified.

I know why I'm scared of snow.    I'm aware in the telling of the story that it is amusing, but it wasn't funny at the time and is the only explanation I have for the fear I feel now.   You are allowed to laugh at it though ;) 

When I was around 6 I walking with my mum along a street covered with snow, snow like it used to, very very deep.  We had both been visiting my grandma and we were on my street making our way back to our house when I disappeared.

Did I disapparate like in the Harry Potter books?  No, I fell down a manhole.  Yes, ok, haha.  This was in the 1980's, before the "Health & Safety" culture got going.  Some workmen had obviously been doing something with the manhole and had it left it uncovered for whatever reason.  With the heavy snow you couldn't see any difference and no signs had been erected.   So little Vicky disappeared, luckily managing to grab hold of the pavement so I could drag myself back up.

Telling the story always gets a laugh, but the truth of it is that since then I have always been frightened of snow, with ice being added to the fear over the years on the grounds that I am the human Bambi on ice, clumsy and unable to keep my balance.

One of my (many I admit) pet peeves are people that wish for the snow.  Why???? You get maybe one day, at best, where throwing snowballs for an hour is fun, the rest of the time you are miserable, wet, cold, slipping and in my case, falling over, a lot.

When people talk about what they would do if they won the lottery, the same thing is always at the top of my list, move to a country where it DOESN'T BLOODY SNOW!

Tell me, please, how is this fun???

9 January 2013

Music for Your Mood

I can never understand when someone says they only like one kind of music.  With the exceptions of heavy metal and country & western, I have fairly broad tastes in music.

I like having a collection of music which will suit my mood, or on some days, improve it!  I have “go to” songs for every mood, songs that guarantee a smile, songs to make you want to dance, songs that make you relax, everything is covered.

Here are my go to favourites:

Tired: anything loud with a good beat to wake me up and kick start my brain.  If I don’t fancy trawling through my playlist, my go to’s are usually Nothing Special by Ill Scarlett, Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit or anything from Green Day’s American Idiot album.

Good mood: good mood music for me, when I’m in a really good mood has to be music from the 90's.  Anything from For an Angel by Paul Van Dyk to Dreamer by Livin Joy is guarantee to keep a big smile on my face.
Irritable/sad/ticked off: Here is where my secret stash of cheesy music comes out.  You know it's terrible, you wouldn't admit to liking it in public, but everyone has a secret stash.  This morning Reach for the Stars, S Club 7 raised my spirits.  It's impossible not to smile. 
Relaxed: When I'm chilled out and relaxing, my go to music is usually from the 50's.  At Last, Etta James is one of my favourite all times songs and anything by Frank Sinatra.
Cover anything song: There a couple of songs that I play no matter what my mood, well more than a couple, but my favourites are Inside by Stiltskin and Super Massive Black Hole, Muse.
What are your to go songs?

5 January 2013


Foreword: I originally posted this blog a few days ago and then decided to delete, as it’s very personal and I wasn’t ready.

Then however I saw the cutting for Bieber hashtag last night on Twitter and was appalled.  Young girls cutting themselves for a celebrity to notice them, people making jokes about it, some even saying “Remember, down the stream not across the path”.  So now I’ve put the post back up.

Cutting isn’t the new cool thing.  Depression isn’t funny.  Just because you aren’t walking around with a broken bone doesn’t mean you’re not broken.

Have you ever noticed that when you are having a dark day, people will try and make you feel better using the atypical “But think about this and this that is good in your life”….  Am I the only one that this irritates? 

I know that people mean well when they say these things, but isn’t it obvious that whatever it is that is making you sad (if you even know in the first place), has nothing to do with the good parts of your life, that’s there no connection?

Whilst I’m lucky enough not to be in it’s grips now, I’ve flirted with depression for many years.  There was a time in my early 20’s when I came very close.  Too close.  I was so completely unhappy.  I didn’t have the outlets to talk about it and not knowing why I was so unhappy, I didn’t see the point.  In anything.

Maybe if I’d had my blog then things may have been different.  This is my safe zone.  I can say whatever I want, even if I don’t know what I’m really saying until I read back an earlier post. 

Back then though, I didn’t have anything.  Already an inward person I turned in even more so.  I turned to cutting.  I don’t think it was even a conscious decision yet one day, the knife was in my hand.  It doesn’t help. It hurts, physically and emotionally.  You’ll never be quite the same person again.

It’s been years since I was that girl.  It took me years to realise that people will listen when you talk.  If you don’t talk about what hurts, it will always hurt you, or you will hurt yourself.  

I was lucky in that I don’t have any scars.  I still have my dark days, I admit to them freely but the helplessness has left me, along with the urge to cut.  I was lucky I didn’t have depression, which is and can be debilitating.  I was just very unhappy.

Ask for help.  People will always give it.  You are not as alone as you think you are.  Talk to someone, anyone, just talk.

2 January 2013

I am not a Lemming

If you rounded up 10 people and individually asked them what their “type” was, I guarantee that you would get 10 different answers.

Tall or short, shy or outgoing; blonde or brunette; sports fan or film addict; plus size or model thin; silly or serious; the combinations are endless.  There is not one standard type for everyone.  We are not the human equivalents of Ken and Barbie.  We all have brains, and those brains are turned on by a variety of things.

My personal preference? Tall and confident.  Confidence to me is sexy.

What I want to know then is why when we all like different things, do people seem to love to pick others apart.  You’re too fat, you’re too thin; your nose is too big; you’re stupid; you’re too loud, you’re too quiet. 

Nobody is “too” anything.    You are you.  You are unique.  No one else is exactly like you, be it physically or emotionally.   Personally, I think that’s awesome.

I was asked this morning if I was going on a diet for my New Year’s Resolution.  The first thing that entered my head was to say “No, but are you going to save up for a nose job?”.  Luckily I didn’t say that, I just called them a ruder version of an idiot.

Our brains shouldn’t be wired in to insult others.  Mine went into attack mode this morning and I’m angrier about that than what the person said.  My first thought shouldn’t have been to insult back, it should have been to realise that if they are insulting others, trying to make them feel bad, it’s more likely that they feel bad about themselves.

We are individuals, with individual tastes.  We don't all look the same, nor think the same.  Why should we?  We should celebrate the differences between people, not fault them.

So that is my New Year’s resolution for this year.  To celebrate what is different about me. 

I am not a lemming. 

1 January 2013

Christmas 2012

I've been particularly bad over the Christmas period as I fully intended to do various posts for my Christmas party outfits.  I managed to take a few photos, but mostly not of the best quality and not enough for a proper outfit post.

I didn't want the outfits to go to waste however, so have posted a few of the photographs anyway, I was too  "getting ready focused" at the time I think!

This is the one photo I remembered to take - my office party
Shoes are from Ravel - the bag is a from a craft sale

Gutted I didn't manage to take more photographs of this dress.  It's absolutely gorgeous and I felt so nice in it! Bought from the Mylene Klass range at Very.

Here are a couple from New Year's Eve.  The dress is a gorgeous jade green and was originally bought for my best friend's wedding a couple of year's ago.  Now thought I feel like it looks a little dated so may give it away, or do a blog sale, though not sure how to do that!

Finally, some lovelies I got from Santa this year, the laptop being a from me to me, a necessity when doing a degree and nothing to work on!

Barry M Glitter Polish & Marc Jacobs Oh Lola

Every girl needs a pamper box!

Flamingo print weekend bag from Next - I adore it!

In honour of the ruby red colour - she's named Dorothy
I hope you all have had a fantastic Christmas.  I am sure that your outfit posts will be better than mine! xx