Tuesday, 31 December 2013

A trip to the coast...

On Sunday, my sister, mum and I took a trip to the coast. North Norfolk is in our blood, we have a holiday home there, and I have been walking, running and splashing along the beach for as long as I can remember! 

It was only a day trip this time, so our first port of call was Burnham Market, for a spot of sunday lunch at The Hoste. We have somewhat become regulars here, and the waiters know our faces. It is a real gem, with friendly staff and divine food!

No Sunday lunch is complete without a walk along the beach afterwards, so we hopped in the car and drove along to our home away from home. I don't know what it is, but there is something about a traditional seaside town that cannot be beaten. The fish and chips, sticks of rock and crabbing seem to give you that warm, welcoming feeling. 

We put our wellies on and headed for the sand, it was a beautiful, crisp afternoon. 

After our walk we headed to the beach cafe to grab some warm drinks, as you can see they cater for both two and four legged creatures!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

What's in my bag?

I’ve never really been a bag person, until I met this little beauty on a cold winter night in New York. I don’t know if I was high on holiday spirit, or overwhelmed by being in Macy’s but Selma stole my heart.

The bag is exactly what I was looking for, classic and elegant. The understated style matches with anything and everything! It really is my dream bag, and one I shall treasure for a long time to come.

First of all, I never leave the house without my purse. Inside live my ID, bankcards, and all those other random items that you seem to collect over time!

One thing I rarely have in my purse is cash, shamefully I’ve become so used to having those little plastic cards that I just use them all the time. Perhaps by not handing over actual notes I feel less guilty when I’m overspending slightly – bad, I know!

Then there are the other cards, the ones that have crept in over the years and have never left. Nando’s card, and the Boots card are standard purse supplies.

Tucked away in a side pocket I have a St John Ambulance first aid guide. It gives instructions on how to treat things such as choking, bleeding, heart attacks and dealing with an unconscious person.
 The story behind this is somewhat odd, whilst I was away at university my best friend would send me random things in the post. Most of them were freebies, I got all sorts from baby food to Muppets cereal box stickers. One day this pocket sized guide arrived and it has been with me ever since.  I never intended to keep it, but no matter what bag or purse I happen to be using, it is always there. Just in case I suppose.

Next is my phone, this trusty little guy is never far away. Another thing I like to have with me is my I-pod. Sometimes on a long trip your phone will run out of juice, and you need a little music fix.

A few basic cosmetics live in here. Nothing too exciting, but I find it is always handy to carry around a mirror, good concealer, lip-gloss and blush just to top up my make-up during the day.

Finally there are miscellaneous items. Firstly my diary, I carry this everywhere. It is so handy just to glance at to see if there is a birthday coming up, to jot down notes and count how many days there are until the next holiday! Paracetamol is always handy too; you never know when that dreaded headache will strike. Last, but not least, chewing gum. For that little sugar pick-me-up if you’re feeling a little ‘meh’.

So there we have it, not quite Aladdin’s cave, but I hope you liked having a peek inside my bag! I think you can tell a lot about a person from what they carry around!

I’d love to know what you can’t leave the house without? Or if you found a bag that stole your heart as well?


Sunday, 22 December 2013

New York: Part Two...

Our second day in the big city was just as eventful as the first. Although the temperature was freezing, the day was bright and crisp. With barely a cloud in the sky, it was the perfect day for some more sightseeing.

Wrapped up in as many jumpers as we could wear, we made our way down Manhattan towards Battery Park. Here, we caught the ferry across to Liberty Island, to say hello to the good lady herself. The ferry ride is pretty short, and although it was rocky at times, the view is second-to-none.

From the water you get to see the whole city, its skyline just rises from the water in various shades of grey and blue.

Unfortunately, the ferry ride made me feel a tad ill, so on the actual island I didn’t take too many photographs. Standing beneath the statue was bizarre, almost surreal and one more thing ticked off the bucket list.

After walking around the island, getting a bite to eat, and exploring the gift shop, we re-joined the queue for the ferry back. The queue was huge; it twisted its way round most of the island. I think we stood in it for a good hour and a half, at least.  Slowly the clouds closed in, and the temperature dropped significantly. As we all stood, huddled together, something quite magical happened.  Out of nowhere, snow began gently falling, and everyone in the queue seemed to instantly lift in spirit. Suddenly total strangers were asking us how we had spent thanksgiving, and telling us how they had spent theirs. Asking where in England we were all from, and what we all thought of New York.

By the time the ferry had docked back at Battery Park it was early evening. In a frantic bid to regain feeling in our fingers and toes we made our way to Starbucks, and sat in there sipping hot chocolate until the sun went down.

Under the cover of darkness is when New York seems to come alive. You really get a sense of why it is ‘The City that never sleeps’. Amongst the hustle and bustle we made our way towards Ground Zero, and The Freedom Tower or One World Trade Center.

Ground Zero was full of people, and yet there was this calm silence. No longer were you surrounded by people in a rush, instead all were slow. In some ways I felt strange being there, when you stand at ground level you simply cannot believe that the Twin Towers once stood there. It is a place of quiet reflection and remembrance; there was no sense of anger or despair. 

One World Trade Center is a spectacular building, the tallest building in the United States; it rises above the city like a phoenix from the flame. In darkness the top of the building melts into the sky. It is quite something.

From here, we caught the subway back uptown. After going back to the hotel to refresh, and get a bite to eat our next stop was Macy’s. Fortunately for us, the Herald Square flagship store was literally round the corner from the hotel. Just one short stroll and we arrived in retail heaven! The store is just huge, yet impeccable. Like Harrods has been taking steroids or something.

The staff were all so polite, nothing seemed too much to ask. The holiday spirit was in full swing, with the store fully decorated for the festive period.

It was here that I met, and fell in love with a Mr Michael Kors. I was smitten, and he was coming home with me. Well, not literally Michael, but one of his beautiful bags and a purse to match. 

If ever you get the chance to go, I urge you to step inside. Even if you don’t purchase anything just go and experience it.  

That’s it for this post folks. More from my little trip to the Big Apple coming soon.

Pre-midlife Crisis: Feeling lost.

I was in two minds about whether or not to write this post, but then I thought, sometimes you’ve just gotta get these things off your chest!

I’m not sure if it might just be post-holiday blues, but recently I’ve been feeling a little lost, or ‘blah’ as some might say. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not quite in a state of “eating a full tub of ice-cream depression”, but I can feel myself asking ‘What am I doing?’.

Since graduating from university I have found living back at home a little difficult. Of course I love my family, but when you’ve become accustomed to living in your own house, and having your own routine, it can be hard to adjust to living back home again.
I spent so long preparing myself to move away from home for the first time, that I didn’t even consider what it would be like moving back.

On the one hand I want to shake myself and say ‘For goodness sake you’re only 21, there is nothing for you to feel unsettled or unhappy about!!’. So far, my journey into the big, wide world has been relatively smooth. I’ve got all my friends close by once more, and I’ve just been offered a paid position doing a job I love.

But on the other hand, there is this overwhelming sense of anxiety. The constant need to question if I’m making the right choices, or travelling in the right direction.

I’m just curious, is there anyone else who feels/ has felt the same? Or am I already on the path to being a crazy cat lady?!

For now I shall sit here watching SATC, eating this big bag of popcorn. It seems the only suitable solution…


Sunday, 15 December 2013

New York: Part One...

This is a slightly belated post but if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you will know that I recently took a trip to New York. I’m going to do a few posts on this, as there is just too much to talk about! Firstly, it was an all girls trip, with my twin sister, mum and I, along with our dearest friends (who also happen to be sisters) and their mum. We flew out from Heathrow on Wednesday 27th of November, and arrived back in England on Monday 2nd of December and I don’t even know where to begin…

I guess a good place to start is with the flight; quite honestly I am terrified of flying. The last trip I took on a plane was to Jersey, well over 10 years ago. So when I woke up on the day of the trip I wasn’t excited at all. (This is terrible I know!) Talk about throwing yourself in at the deep end, a 7-hour flight across the ocean. We flew with Virgin Atlantic, and although I can’t fault the airline or their staff at all, for me, the less said about the flight the better!

We arrived at JFK at about 7pm, it was dark, rainy and freezing! Unbeknown to the rest of us, my mum and sister had arranged for a limo to pick us up from the airport and take us to our hotel, The Comfort Inn Manhattan. (Honestly, I don’t actually remember much about this, as I was pretty spaced out/still ill from the flight). We arrived at the hotel shortly before 9pm, and after 
checking in, all decided to get an early night!

Thursday was our first full day, we hadn’t realised at the time of booking that this was in fact Thanksgiving. As we don’t really have Thanksgiving here I didn’t really know what to expect, but it was an amazing experience. The whole city was full of life, with a real holiday atmosphere. Our friends’ relatives live just outside the city so we met them in Central Park, and all stood with the crowds watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. 

People were laughing, celebrating, singing and dancing, whilst the parades trademark balloons were pulled along the city streets. It was somewhat bizarre seeing the likes of Fall Out Boy and Jimmy Fallon joining in the fun alongside Sesame Street and a giant inflatable Spongebob Squarepants.

Once the parade had finished we left the city for the suburbs, and had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at our friends relatives house. Complete with Pecan and Pumpkin Pie.

Once we had eaten to our hearts content we took the train back to New York City, arriving in Grand Central station. This building is quite something, I’ve seen it in films yes, but to be there in person is a totally different experience. It is bustling with people, whilst at the same time being calm and inviting. The ceiling maps out the constellations, whilst huge stain glass windows reflect colour across the hall.

 Our final stop on our first day in the city was The Empire State Building. Under the blanket of a crisp, winter night we took the lift to the top to see the whole city mapped out by lights beneath us. The view is just breath-taking, and you almost can’t believe that what you are seeing is real, and not just animated on a screen.  I almost can’t describe what it felt like being stood up there, it was incredible.

And so, our first day in New York draws to a close, tired we made our way back to the hotel, bed beckoned…  

Friday, 6 December 2013

A touch of vintage love...

As mentioned previously, I am in the process of revamping my bedroom. The first thing on my list was a new bed, that has been ordered and is due to arrive on Tuesday. (I am more excited than I probably should be about this!)

My next mission was to find a wardrobe... Now I wouldn't say that I'm fussy, but I knew what I wanted. After trawling through various catalogues, without much luck, I decided to look elsewhere.
Charity shops are an amazing place to go if you are looking for something a little unique. Now, I must admit that in the past I have been a little sceptical of 'second-hand purchasing'. (We all have this vision of charity shops selling random bits of tat that smell funky.)

How wrong I was.... If you are prepared to look around with an open mind you can find some absolute gems. After a few weeks of searching I found my wardrobe. As soon as I saw it I fell in love, it is not too big, but not too small. A real classic design that can be brought back to life with a lick of paint.

Outside is plain, nothing really to dislike. The curvature of the door adds an elegant touch, whilst the handle and lock are nice, original features, adding a vintage vibe.

Inside there are no shelves, and two rails run from front to back on each side, with a hat or coat hook in the middle.

My mission for the weekend is to sand down the wood to a nice, even finish and paint the whole thing a matte cream so it matches the rest of my furniture.

I purchased my wardrobe from a local Sue Ryder shop, it cost me the grand total of £30. A complete bargain, with the money going to a good cause.
If you're after something to furnish your home with I really recommend visiting charity shops! 
I shall update you all when it is finished.