January Reading


 It seems that most of my Facebook timeline spent January getting engaged, so The Engagements is a suitable book to post about!

Don’t get any preconceived ideas though. This book isn’t a chick-lit style fairytale romance of boy meets girl, gets a ring and becomes a princess for a day, it’s much more than that.

The Engagements actually follows one engagement ring from 1901 to 2012 and all it’s owners as it’s lost, found and stolen.

Each decade is fascinating to read about what peoples views were on marriage and how things have changed. Fittingly the ring finally ends up being turned into two wedding bands for a gay marriage in 2012.

My favourite section of the book was based in an advertisement agency and featured the real-life character of Mary Frances Gerty, a copywriter for De Beers in the 1940s. She came up with the slogan ‘a diamond is forever’ and it was so interesting to read how ad companies worked back then – very Mad Men-esque!

So if you’re looking for a book to read, I point you in the direction of this. And if you want a diamond of your own, maybe leave a copy lying around. You never know, your other half may take the hint…

Bloody Brilliant Blogs #4


I've been truly spoilt with the amount of fabulous blogs I've read this week. I have had a lot of LOLZ and drooled over a lot of good-looking food. 

It was difficult to whittle it down to just a few to write about, but if I'd done them all, this post would have been dissertation length! 

So, here we go…. 

I completely agreed with pretty much every point of Charlotte Web's 100 things I love about London post. And I want to visit every restaurant Lorilee's London has spoken about in her favourite places to eat in London post. 

LOVED Fashion Life London's post on fake underground signs. It's the little things…. And Ginger Girl Says, who is fast becoming my have blogger ever, did it again by making me nod in agreement before laughing out loud at my desk with her Great Expectations post. My timeline also is filled with engagements and baby announcements. I must have missed the memo which said it was time to settle down… 

I LOVE French food so will definitely be heading to Blanchette - thanks Little Miss Notting Hill for your fabulous photos which I drooled over as I tucked into my beans on toast (BEYOND happy it's payday tomorrow….) 

And finally, a HUGE thank you to Not Quite Enough For Me who has proved I obviously go around with my eyes closed as Stepney City farm is ON MY DOORSTEP and I didn't even know about it! Not only does it have cute, furry animals but also sells amazing fresh food. And I WANT that cherry almond tart. YUM. 

January - you're not all bad


Now I'm not normally lost for words, but this month I have been mainly relying on other people's words to keep my little piece of the web sailing. 

But January is like that, isn't it? A little bit... dry. (Not in the alcohol sense though. I'm not stupid.) 

We're all drinking less, eating less and spending less because payday still seems like forever away (five days away in my case, and counting....) And because of this, I just don't seem to have much to say. 

I'm not moaning though. Even after the party/eat what the hell you want month of December, pay for it/get on a diet January hasn't been all bad, in fact 6 things have surprised me this month… 

1) I can actually go more than three hours without having crackers smothered in Brie. 

2) That I can wake up in the morning without thinking: 'What time can I crack open the Champagne?'

3) That I can eat foods with colour: broccoli, butternut squash, etc and not just foods that are brown: sausage rolls, bread, pate, crisps, etc.  

4) That after a five-year hiatus, I would become hooked on Eastenders again. This has nothing to do with the story lines and everything to do with Danny Dyer. Mainly Danny Dyer half naked. 

5) That I would become quite so obsessed watching 12 celebrities in a house. I wake up in the morning and wonder what might have happened overnight. Is Casey still trying to get it on with love rat Lee? Have Jim and Linda killed each other? Has Sam actually spoken? 

6) That I would actually utter the words I LOVE LIZ JONES and laugh out loud at some of the things she's said. 

(Watch Liz Jones and laugh out loud at some of the things she says.)

So January may involve less cheese, less food, and less fizz but it has given me Danny Dyer and Liz Jones. Mustn't complain!

Bloody Brilliant Blogs #3


I've had complete bloggers block the past couple of weeks and been completely uninspired to write my own posts. Luckily though I've had these Bloody Brilliant Blogs to read!

Big Fashionista had me laughing out loud with her story of accidentally aiding an OAP criminal… As did Ginger Girl who was talking about the pitfalls of Facebook stalking. We've all been there. I once put my exes new girlfriend's name in the search box but actually made her name my STATUS. Cringe…

Lunacy of Ink and I are totally on the same page when it comes to thank you cards. Why does no one send them anymore? And want to learn how to haggle in four easy steps? Miss Thrifty gives her tips! I once got 10% off in Habitat just because I asked. People need to do it more - if you don't ask, you don't get!! 

I often buy bananas with good intentions - but then forget about them. Next time I shall be making Life Outside London's Banana Bread. And with still a week to go until payday (longest month EVER) I need good but cheap to make meal ideas. Lottie's Little Kitchen's Simple Basil and Tomato sauce with Spaghetti ticks all the boxes!! YUM. 

Bloody Brilliant Blogs #2


There has been so many blogs I've loved this week - and as usual, mainly all food related… Ready to see them? Let's go! 

Cocktails and Caroline made me DROOL with this pic of her homemade KFC. Will definitely be trying that out… I also loved her post on the Drunch Eatery and Lounge. Looks amaze AND does low-cal options. Guilt-free eating out is a winner in my book. I also agree with her views on Mahiki…. I went there last summer for a friend's birthday and found it AWFUL. Quite possibly the worst service I've ever received in the world and I will not ever be going there. 


Flo and Elle's blog on Yalla Yalla reminded me that I still haven't been there yet which is a travesty. I need their houmous in my life! 

I can't wait to make Life Outside London's chicken and broccoli bake - and having a super healthy dinner means I can follow it up with a slice of Oh Gosh's chocolate and Amaretto cake, right? YUM.

Moving on to my favourite none food related posts… It may seem madness to be thinking of Christmas already but Miss Thrifty has a point. Buy things in the sale now, less stress when the festive season hits us again. I've already bought all my Christmas cards for next year… #Organised. 

And I can't wait to follow J'adore's journey as she attempts to read 50 books. I'm also going to try this so nice to know I'm in good company! 

The Burning Air by Erin Kelly


Some books you read - others you devour. Erin Kelly's The Burning Air is one of those books. 

I was hooked from the first page. It was one of those books that you sail past your tube stop for because you're so engrossed. One of those books that you bump into several people on your walk from the tube to the office because you just. can't. put. it. DOWN. 

So what's it about? 

The MacBride family. Lydia, the mum and head of the family, is dead, taking with her a devastating secret. Something that she did when they were all children. Only she and her diary knows what that secret is… 

As the family all get together for an annual Bonfire night weekend in remote Devon to scatter Lydia's ashes, youngest of the family Felix brings his new girlfriend. But she isn't what she seems. And when they leave her looking after the baby and both of them disappear it looks like the secret is about to come out…. 

This book is gripping. And chilling. With more twists and turns that a roller coaster ride at Alton Towers. 

Don't just take my word for it though, READ IT. I can guarantee you will love. 

Bloody Brilliant Blogs #1


Like all my blogging in December, my Bloody Brilliant Blog series went a bit AWOL but do not fear - I'm back! And these are blogs I've been loving in the first week of 2014….

Being Erica's post on Flat Iron has reminded me I MUST check this place out. Who doesn't love a steak? Medium rare if you're wondering… 

Being the New Year and all I am trying to eat a little better and not just reach for the takeaway menu - so Cocktails and Caroline's Chicken Satay Bowl sounds perfect - and looks amazing! Will be making that in the week for sure. 

And making me laugh this week (as always) is Lunacy of Ink talking about her pet name for her husband… And Ginger Girl also made have a little chuckle with her drunk texting post. We've all been there….!

New Year - Lover or Hater?


I recently discovered I have something in common with Richard and Judy and Gregg Wallace. No it's not that I like to flash my boobs on TV. Or that I like to start fights in public. 

What I have in common with them all is this - we HATE New Year. Or New Years Eve to be more precise. 

'We don't much like New Year,' said Richard. 'We much prefer Christmas. New Year's a bit depressing.' 

I wholeheartedly agree Richard. 

'I don't like New Year,' said Gregg. 'New Years resolution? Only to never ever try to go out on New Year ever again. The food's rubbish, it's four times more expensive and you can't get a taxi!' 

Hear hear Gregg. 

You see NYE is like Marmite - you either love it, or you hate it. And I think I've already stressed, I HATE it. 

Now don't get me wrong, I love to go out and party and will normally have a glass of fizz to celebrate the opening of an envelope. But the moment people ask that dreaded question 'What are you doing for New Year?' (ridiculously, normally around October time) I just want to stick pins in my eyes. I'm like an angry cat - my back goes up and I practically hiss at the asker. 

I can't help it. I just really dislike the concept of an evening where everyone expects you to go out whether you like it or not. And when you do? The reality is the 'fun' you're meant to have never lives up to expectations and it tends to be a quite (over-priced) flat night. 

I've been like this since I was a little kid. When I  was young, Mum let me stay up late to see in the New Year and watch the fireworks on TV before singing Auld Lang Syne. Most kids would love the opportunity to to stay up - but not me. I'd pretend I was asleep on the sofa so I didn't have to celebrate and instead had to be taken up to bed. Odd I know… 

As I got older I would paste a smile on my face and head out to various parties but never with success. One year I got so drunk on orange Barcadi Breezers I fell asleep in my friends garage and another year I snogged a gay man at midnight just because no one else was around. 

The most successful NY I've ever had was the eve of 2009. At the grand old age of 25 I decided that I wasn't going to bow to peer pressure and would stay in - by myself. 

To say I was happy with this decision was an understatement. I excitedly planned the Chinese feast I was going to order and the cheesy films I was going to watch. To me it was bliss but others, when they heard of my plans, were horrified. 

'You can't stay in by yourself!' they screeched. 'You can't!'

'Why?' I asked. 

'Because it's New. Years. Eve,' they pointed out like I'd missed the memo. 

It was very sweet that everyone was so concerned and wanted me to be with them but I'd made my plan and I was sticking with it. 

And I didn't regret it. 

I ordered enough Chinese food to feed a family of four and watched some trashy films. At 11pm I'd sent myself into a food coma so headed to bed. 

Before midnight! I can hear you all gasp. Yep, before midnight. 

I fell soundly asleep and was woken briefly at midnight by fireworks set off by people who hadn't gone to bed at 11pm. 

I didn't even get up to look at them. Instead I simply turned over and fell straight back to sleep. Brilliant night! 

This year me and my friends from work (also fellow NY haters) drank Champagne in the office before heading to a BYO Thai restaurant to drink more Champagne and then headed to a pub nearby that was having a 90s night. 

It started off well. They played Pulp Common People, which is always a winner in my eyes, and other such hits. But then, in typical New Year fashion, things start to feel a bit flat. Midnight suddenly seems forever away and the strangers around just seem to become louder, drunker, more obnoxious and invading your space so you can't really dance properly (that really bothers me - I like room for my moves) and generally acting like it's there one night out a year (thinking about it, it probably is…)

Midnight arrived and I hug and kiss my friend Elaine, happy we'd seen it in together. She then does the normal thing of wishing those around us a Happy New Year while I sort of back away into the corner with only one thing on my mind - getting my coat and getting the hell out of there. 

12.10 I left the pub. 'You sure you want to leave?' Elaine said but she didn't push for me to stay. She knew - I'm the New Year Grinch! The New Year party popper!

On the walk to the tube I saw lots of lovely fireworks - but I also saw a lot of men fighting and girls being sick on the pavement. Oh joys. 

I arrived on the tube platform and walked right to the end, before hopping onto a fairly empty carriage. I didn't even look up to wish my fellow carriage passengers New Year greetings. Instead I got my book out and read for the 30 minute journey as people partied around and made friends with strangers.

By 1pm I had my onesie on and a rum and coke in my hand. Finally I could death a sigh of relief. It was over. And it would be 364 days until I had to do it again….

Which side are you on? Are you a lover or a hater?!