Saturday 24 December 2011

Joy to the world...

Happy Christmas Eve, everyone!

As usual, it's been a while since my last post (new year's resolution - blog more). However, this time there is a very good reason. I've kind of been busy falling in love. Completely unexpected but, at the same time, mind bogglingly brilliant. I'm so happy I feel like I could pop at any moment. So, in the spirit of this magical time of year, a few little letters...

Dear Christmas,
I love you. You are utterly magical and you're better than ever this year. Don't ever change.

Dear waistline,
What can I say? I'm sorry. You're distinctly bigger than you were this time last year and it's all my fault. Don't get used to it though. Come December 27th we're going to sort you out.

Dear Marks & Spencer pork crackling sticks,
You are partially to blame for the above. Don't worry though, I still love you.

Dear love,
Hello. You're back. And bigger than ever before. I'm going to try really hard to not let you go this time.

We're going to be seeing a lot less of each other, come the new year. I'm sorry but the time has come.

Dear 30,
You've been the best year of my life so far and we're only two months in. I can't wait to see what the rest of you has in store for me.

Dear bank account,
I'm sorry I've not been kind to you this year. I like Topshop too much. I promise to try harder next year.

Dear 2011,
You've been a strange year. Possibly the strangest year of my life. The last two months of you have more than made up for any of the bad times though, so thanks for that.

And, finally...

Dear Soldier,
There really aren't enough words to say how happy you've made me. It may have taken eleven years but you were worth the wait.

It's doubtful that I'll be posting tomorrow as I'll hopefully be face down in a trifle come 2pm. So I'd like to take this opportunity to say that I hope you all have completely incredible, wonderful festive times. Eat, drink, dance, love, laugh and be thankful for every little bit of magic in your life.

Merry Christmas xxx

Monday 12 December 2011

Ding dong the bells are gonna chime!

I love weddings. LOVE THEM.

My beautiful friend B got married at the weekend and I was lucky enough to be one of her bridesmaids. The whole day was, quite frankly, EPIC and I'm more than a little depressed that it's now all over. From the night in the beautiful hotel on Friday night, through the heart palpitations of Saturday morning, to the amazing meal (HELLO LAMB SHANK) and the hours of dancing like idiots to 90s cheese, the day was just perfect.

1) The amazing invitation. A tea towel! They bought them from The Original Wedding Tea Towel and were absolutely thrilled with them. I'm going to get mine framed as it's far too nice to actually use!
2) My bridesmaid shoes. Love them so much it hurts.
3) My bouquet by Swallows and Damsons. Utterly gorgeous. Also, champagne for the bride and bridesmaids at our hotel on Friday night.
4) Cava at the hair salon on Saturday morning and my bag.
5) Bridesmaid in full effect!

Congratulations Mr & Mrs J, it was MAGNIFICENT! xxx

Saturday 3 December 2011

Outfit Post: Step Into Christmas


Well, almost.

At this time of year I prefer to wear sequins exclusively. Yes, really. I'm off to London this weekend for fun and frolics and I'm so excited I could pop. I don't have time to write much as I've got a train to catch, some gin to drink and some laughing to do. Plus dancing and possible falling over. Hurrah!

Many thanks to the lovely people at Motel for the gorgeous dress. Whilst I'm not sure I'd quite have the guts to wear it out of the house just yet (noone needs to see my gusset), it is BEAUTIFUL. As a little treat for you all, enter SEQUIN15 at the checkout for a festive 15% off everything. Valid until Sunday 11th December.

Dress - Motel
Tights - Topshop
Shoes - ASOS
Hair - Follicle hell
Facial Expression - NO IDEA

Friday 2 December 2011

A Very Instagram Christmas

1) Manchester Christmas Markets 2) Token work decorations 3) Free Starbucks chocolate coin 4) Gingerbread latte always and forever 
5) My bridesmaid shoes 6) Free Starbucks mince pie 7) Winter sunrise 8) The freezing commute 9) Never a truer word spoken 10) Hell yes

In case you don't know me AT ALL, let me fill you in on something...


I love it with every single ounce of my being. The food, the songs, the fairy lights, the SHEER JOY. This afternoon I finished work at 3.30, came home, put Mariah (<3) on Spotify and decorated my Christmas tree. All whilst wearing a festive jumper, naturally. Now I'm drinking Marks & Spencer Christmas coffee and basking in the glow of twinkling lights. Perfect.

I realise that I have, once more, been incredibly absent. There are a few reasons that I could give but the main one is that, quite simply, I've been busy being sickeningly happy. All will be revealed in time but, for now, I'm keeping the reason all to myself.

So, how've you been?

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Life Begins At... 30?

1) Amazing cards; 2) Birthday outfit (excuse the drying washing) and a birthday present; 3) Super sugary cake;
4) Presents from the beautiful S and my housemate; 5) Another birthday present

Thirty is, so far, treating me very, very well.

I had the best birthday weekend ever. There was an amazing meal at Greens on Friday night (with a birthday kiss off the chef, Simon Rimmer) and then drinks in the Northern Quarter with my nearest and dearest on Saturday night. I got to bed at 4am (having broken my beloved Jeffrey Campbell Foxy shoes, sob). Then it was off to London at 9am for Brick Lane curry, vintage shopping and cocktails with S. Finished off with a salt beef beigel, obviously. Then yesterday there was lunch, wine, more wine, cocktails, meatballs and more wine with A and C, before a late train home to God's country. Perfection.

Today I am beyond shattered but I feel happier than I have for ages. I was utterly spoilt all weekend and feel truly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

Thirty, I enjoy you. Keep it up.

Friday 4 November 2011


Today I am 30.

Over the last 30 years I have:

Moved 6 times.
Loved 5 boys (4 properly).
Laughed, on average, 40 times a day.
Gained 2 degrees.
Been to New York 3 times.
Been to Glastonbury 7 times
Travelled to 15 countries.
Eaten alligator once.
Stayed up past sunrise more times than I can count.

Lived one wonderful life.

Sunday 23 October 2011

Outfit Post: Beetlejuice

After a two month absence...

Here are some clothes for your to look at with your faces. Hurrah. There was a sneak peak of this outfit a couple of posts back but I thought I'd show you it in all its Beetlejuice-esque glory. With added massive parka. I do live in Manchester after all and it's part of our uniform.

I would wear this every single day if I could. Which is odd, because I've got neither my legs nor "the ladies" out. And I'm normally all about the legs and the ladies and the showing thereof. Maybe I'm becoming modest in my old age. I do turn 30 (THIRTY. WTF) in less than two weeks after all. Now please excuse my while I weep, throw all my leather shorts out and de-hoochify my wardrobe.

Yeah right.

Oh, one last thing. Unfortunately I think we're all just going to have to deal with the fact that my hair is mental. Personally, I think Tulisa's actually copied me. The little minx. Blonde roots are the new black roots. Fact.

Parka - Primark
Jeans and Top - River Island
Cardigan - New Look
Boots - Topshop
Hair - Seven bazillion different colours

Glitter & Velvet

1. Deena & Ozzy boots
2. OPI 'Fresh Frog of Bel Air'
3. Topshop 'Adornment' with OPI/Sephora 'Only Gold For Me' topcoat
4. OPI 'Rainbow Connection'
5. The ultimate party dress from Topshop
6. THAT dress that every blogger seems to have
7. My beloved boots once more

Thursday 13 October 2011


So, in my last post when I said that September was a month for "organising, cleansing and sparklifying my life", it appears that I also meant September was a month for taking some time out to reassess, reevaluate and reconsider. Ooh, I love me some alliteration.

I digress.

I've taken almost four weeks away from blogging, my tweeting has been minimal (for me, at least) and, instead, I've just been... living. I've been away to Nottingham for the weekend, I've been out for dinners and  drinks and out on nights out and I've spent time just being me. And being happy. I've rediscovered the joy in life, the joy in the smallest of good things, the joy in feeling good about yourself.

The joy in ...

...dressing like Beetlejuice for work. Oh yes.
...ridiculous new jeans.
...a rainy Manchester evening.
...driving over The Snake Pass at sunset. Breathtaking.
...a big fat burger with chips and coleslaw.
...not hating what I look like anymore.

Hello. My name is Helen. I'm back.

Saturday 17 September 2011

One Week

A sneak peek into my Saturday morning for you there...

So, one week ago I wrote this post and, judging by the comments, it seems that a lot of us have been having a bit of a rubbish time recently. Over the last seven days, though, I've followed my own advice and, touch wood, I feel so much better. I've been sleeping well, I've been eating better and I've been focussing on the positive and making plans for the future, rather than wallowing in the negative.

I have plans for virtually every single weekend right up to December. I've created a budget spreadsheet which, whilst not rock 'n' roll in the least, is a necessary evil and, strangely, it has given me a sense of control that I've been lacking all year. I've even developed a skincare regime so I must be taking better care of myself. Ridiculously, that was one of my resolutions at the start of the year and I wish I'd done it sooner. Liz Earle, where have you been all my life?! I'm using the 'Healthy, Beautiful Skin Kit' and it's revolutionised my face. Fact.

September 2011, it would seem, is a month of organising, cleansing and sparklifying my life. And I'm relishing it.

Miscellaneous things that have delighted me this week:

Fresh sunflowers // OPI's Miami Beet // Nakd cocoa orange bars // Clay pigeon shooting. I went with work on Wednesday and it was so much fun. BRAP BRAP // Dragonfly Morrocan Mint Green Tea // The return to my lovely little house, following a week of dogsitting at my parents' // Joe's Sausages (Slimming World ladies, have you tried these? Most of the products are syn free and they're amazing!) // Extreme Couponing. Ultimate guilty pleasure television // Skrillex - Ruffneck // A cinema date to watch 'The Skin I Live In'. With warm cider and Cadbury Nibbles. No spoilers, just watch it

And here's a bonus for you. Me looking confused by the GIANT courgette I managed to grow...

 Why yes, I am an idiot. Thanks for noticing.

Saturday 10 September 2011

The Girls' Guide To: Pulling Yourself Out Of A Funk

♥ Get a dog called Daisy. She will make it impossible for you to feel sad when she's around. She will leap on your knee, attempt to lick your face and make you feel like you're the most important person in the world. All just because you've come home from work

♥ Put your favourite music on full blast. Dance. Sing. Cry. Laugh. Just feel. For the last few months I've spent so long feeling numb. Anything is better than numb, for me at least

♥ Make plans. Plan weekends away, nights out, days out, holidays, dinners with friends. Make the effort to get in touch with people you don't see often enough. It's so tempting to hide away when you're feeling low but this will only result in you reaching for that second tub of Ben & Jerry's. That, my friends, is a COLD, HARD FACT

♥ Smile at strangers. Seriously. Some will think you're crazy but a lot will smile back. Sharing a smile with a complete stranger is one of my favourite ways to brighten up my day

♥ Put on your favourite dress and a pair of killer heels. Even if it's only to go to the shop in. Or even just to stay in, in. I hoovered in my favourite French Connection dress and a full face of make up the other day. Oh yes I did

♥ Have a party for one on your sofa. Get a DVD of your favourite TV series (fyi, Peep Show, Monkey Dust, Inbetweeners, Oz, Law & Order: SVU and The City all work for me), grab some nail varnish, a face pack, some snacks (crisps if I'm being bad, fresh berries if I'm being virtuous) and bask in the glory of a day spent doing nothing at all

♥ Run. Swim. Exercise. It never fails to make me feel better. If I haven't done any exercise for a while then I know I'm not in a good place because, for me, nothing lifts my spirits quite like feeling that I'm doing something good for me. A boozy dance off comes a close second though, obviously

♥ Go for a walk and take some photographs. Write a letter and fill it with glitter. Paint a picture and hang it on the wall. Bake a cake and give it to your friends or work colleagues. Creativity is an excellent funk-getter-outer-of

♥ Do some volunteer work. There's nothing quite like helping someone else to lift your mood and make you feel pretty damn good. Win-win situation

♥ And, finally... accept that it's ok to not be ok. Don't beat yourself up about it or feel like you're alone. You're not. If you need to wallow, wallow. But limit the wallowing. Give yourself an end date.