Monday, 19 December 2016

Selfridges Forest on The Roof Restaurant

My best friend and I have a yearly tradition where every single Christmas we go to the Selfridges Forest on the Roof restaurant.



This year we managed to take a Friday off for a little break in our manic work schedules and headed to London for a bit of shopping (aka me panic-buying two dresses for the wedding I had on Saturday – nothing like leaving things to the last minute) before heading to Selfridges, the most Christmassy place in the world, probably.

There’s a lift that takes you straight upstairs to the gorgeous festive corridor leading into the restaurant - although if you're not in a mad rush like us, definitely head to the Christmas section for a little look first. I LOVE department stores at Christmas, they make me feel like I'm in the film 'The Greatest Store In The World' - which if you haven't seen it, you really must watch, provided you love cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies as much as I do.

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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

The perfect Autumn/Winter rose gold phone cover from Case Company

Things I hate about my iPhone currently:

1.  Having low storage. Seriously guys – I see the message ‘You have low storage’ or ‘Storage full’ more than I see my close friends and family. What are we going to do about these iPhone storage problems?! Surely we can’t go on like this???

2. The fact that Depop has half downloaded but due to the above storage issues I can’t open it and yet I can’t delete it either, and so I can’t stalk inthefrow on Depop or try and buy her designer shoes for £30. Cry.

Things I do not hate about my iPhone currently:

1. My gorgeous new phone cover*.

I mean.

Just look.

(Ignore the champagne. But it was a Sunday so why not...)



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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Welcome to the world, little one

On 1st November 2016, at 5.11am, after a long and intense labour, my sister brought little baby Alexander Digby Gordon into the world, weighing an impressive 10lb 5oz, and capturing everyone’s hearts immediately. (As well as making sure that my husband’s birthday – also the 1st November – would become a bit secondary forevermore!)


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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

My Delights

This weekend I read a wonderful article by the even more wonderful Dolly Alderton, one of my favourite journalists and, to be honest, girl crushes. I love everything she writes – I remember reading a quote by Joss Whedon once in which he said that he wishes he could ‘eat someone’s brain and steal their ideas’ – and that’s kind of how I feel about her, except to 'ideas' you could also add 'insane legs'.

But her latest piece was one of my favourites -  this beautiful list of all her delights in life. A lot of posts on my blog focus on this idea that happiness is found in the ordinary, but I’ve never been able to sum up as perfectly as Dolly how the beauty of life resides not in the extraordinary but in the everyday. I’m sure I still won’t be able to put it as well as she did, and you are perfectly welcome to click off and go and read her list instead (no, don't. She's already famous. Read mine).  

It’s quite long, I warn you. I’m quite a happy person. Sorry about that. But here we go anyway.



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Thursday, 15 September 2016

5 weird things about Instagram



 I love Instagram, I’m not even ashamed to admit it. (@Catscruse, FOLLOW ME, I take a lot of photos of white wine and sunsets and I love pink, okay that’s enough, shameless self promotion over.)



I always used Facebook mostly for sharing photographs, and then along came this entire site dedicated to just that, so I didn’t have to force my pretty avocado on toast upon unwilling family or friends or people I used to work with in 2005 anymore. And ignoring the part where you compare yourself to someone’s edit of a perfect life, and get obsessed with followers and cry over why someone else got 20281 likes on their photograph of an egg and your selfie only got 189, and oh my god I'm uglier than an egg, blah, blah, I think Instagram is mostly a nice thing. It’s fun, it’s pretty, and most people don’t believe it’s real. 

But okay, sometimes it’s a bit weird, isn’t it? Here are 5 of the weird things about Instagram that I’ve noticed. You've noticed them too, but if you've noticed more, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

10 things to love about hen dos

A few weeks ago I went to a brilliant hen do.

We had a buffet and prosecco and played stupid games on the Friday night. A spa, including a hot lava shell massage (best. thing. EVER) on the Saturday, followed by cocktail making and a night out. Then waffles with bacon on the Sunday.

It was an absolutely textbook hen do, the type I feel now gets a really bad rep and I can't work out why. So if you've got a hen do coming up and you're dreading it right now, here's 10 things to get excited about... 


Beautiful bride, short stunted friend (me)

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Monday, 5 September 2016

Why your girlfriends are the best kind of friends

I just came back from a hen do and was having a polite conversation about it with a colleague in the kitchen (you know: ‘How was your weekend?’ ‘Good…not long enough! You?’ and so on). When I mentioned I was on a hen do she screwed up her face and said,
‘Ugh, yeah, I dread those…I just get on so much better with men, you know?’


No. I don’t know. But I do know that this seems to be the cool thing to say these days. As if saying you don’t like hanging out with girls even though you are a girl makes you one of the lads – yeah, you’re basically Zoe Ball, you are, downing pints and playing pool surrounded by blokes, looking amazing even though you're just in denim jeans and a band t shirt - you’re so down to earth, you, and they’re all your mates but they're also all secretly in love with you because you’re just so awesome and attractive. What a narrative to tell yourself.

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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

My London


My best friend hated London.

She moved away three years ago and bought a house in Manchester, two up, two down, and got a husband, a cat and a baby, in that order.

Every time I visit her there it rains.

At Christmas it flooded and they have been living in a flat ever since, all piled on top of each other like presents under the tree.

I told her, I don’t understand how you can like it here and she says

I hate London

I hated living in London.

She describes it – expensive and dirty, crowded tubes and dodgy streets lined with dangerous eyes, pretentious bars, sleazy men in suits, hipster girls with nose piercings, sticky floors and high rent and endless Prets, urban sprawl as far as the eye can see.

And that is her London.

It’s funny. I see her London sometimes, glimpse it in TV shows, hear it in depictions from other people’s stories. But it is as far removed to me as the London from a Charles Dickens novel. I have never been there.


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Monday, 11 July 2016

The in between places



For a while now I’ve been writing these weekly lists about the things I’ve enjoyed in the week.  I write them half for myself – I like reading them back, remembering the things I was doing in 2013, 2014; the make up I was wearing, the dinners I went for, not just the holidays or the 'big things' but the Nandos lunches and the new lipsticks and the other little, positive sparks that make up a life.

And yet recently I have been thinking that there are even smaller things. The black coffee I make every morning, the smell of the hot water mixing with the instant granules and filling the office kitchen. These little, insignificant rituals. Massaging Body Shop vitamin E cream into my skin. The smell reminds me, for no reason, of my mother. Seeing a homemade cheesecake laid out on someone’s desk with a sign propped up next to it – ‘Tastes better than it looks! Help yourselves!’ Buskers on the tube playing an Oasis song. Waking up with a cool breeze streaming through the balcony door.

These things, I realise, are nothing but the in between moments, taking me from one event to the next. Liking how your nails look as you slap your contactless card against the Oyster reader. A seat on the tube. Walking past a sausage dog puppy wearing a cone. These are the connecting pieces, the screws holding the shelves together. The way your favourite denim jeans feel on dress-down-Friday. Drinking a diet coke first thing in the morning. Picking up someone's card when they drop it on the street, their smiles of relief, your bubble of pleasure.

They might seem insignificant, these moments, but they are not; added together they are the summation of your life and they can make you happy or sad, richer or poorer, better or worse. Do not forget to take pleasure in your in between things – breathe in your coffee, brush your hair, stretch. Pad across cool floorboards and open the curtains. These little things, they matter, make them count.

Because in dark times, when the big things seem too big, it is these moments that will save you. Your morning ritual, a moment of recognition with a stranger, the soup you like in Pret - these things will be there when all else is lost in the void. Life is what happens when you aren't looking. Life is happening now.
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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

30 Years! A Pearl Wedding Anniversary (Or - what my parents taught me about love)

30 years ago, George Michael was flying high in the charts. Maggie Thatcher was Prime Minister and Regan was President of the USA. The first Apple computer was just being created, a young lady named Diana was about to marry Prince Charles, punk was a thing and people had the worst perms you’ve ever seen in your life. Like they actually thought that was a hairstyle...let's not dwell on it.

And in a small town in Hertfordshire, at a stately home called Fanham’s Hall where, 30 years later, my sister would celebrate her own marriage, my parents got married. This weekend we celebrated their Pearl wedding anniversary. 


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Monday, 20 June 2016

15 things everyone going to Glastonbury is thinking right now



1. It's JUNE, why is it literally like Mordor outside? I don't want to go to a festival in this weather - I want to stay in bed. I'm going to Coachella next year to wear denim cut offs and stand near minor celebrities and sleep in a hotel with a swimming pool.

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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

How a really lazy girl fell in love with running

 I have tried for years to be a runner.

Before that, the idea of running when it wasn’t completely necessary (train leaving in three minutes and the next one will cost an extra £50; the limited buffet is now open) was foreign to me. Running conjured up images of myself at seven years old on a damp school field, slipping on wet grass in black plimsolls, panting at the back of the class and pretending I’d run four laps already so can I go and sit down now please?
 
No one has ever looked like this whilst running

By secondary school, with boobs and a heightened sense of vanity and a fear of running mascara, my list of excuses on cross-country-running days were well trained and rarely let me down. I knew how to fall in just the right way to secure a trip to Matron (my best friend Alexa happily linking arms with me and ‘helping’ me off the muddy field) without accidentally attracting a call for an ambulance or worse, my mother. An ice pack and a knowing look seemed like a small price to pay not to run round that field again. A dislocated knee at 13 sealed the deal (and a lifetime of sorry-I-can’t-do-PE notes) and I figured I’d never run again.

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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Sixth Scent - The most perfect of perfect candles

Yep, that’s right, this whole blog post is dedicated to a candle. I know, who does that? But I feel like, as you’re going to see this candle on my Instagram probably about once a week forevermore, I’d give it a little credit here too.

Sixth Scent Strawberry Shortcake Candles


This is the Sixth Scent candle in Strawberry Shortcake and – just look at it. It looks like a strawberry milkshake, or a strawberry ice cream sundae, or…just all of those good things in the world. Not only is it beautiful, it also smells amazing – exactly like, err, strawberry shortcake – and the scent payoff is perfect; enough that you can smell it in the room, but not one of those sickly Yankee candles that kind of give you a headache after a while.

And once again, can we look at it?
This is how it comes packaged - err, how beautiful? 
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Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Farewell to Facebook

Recently, a girl I knew from school – not a friend, you understand, just a Facebook friend – literally live-blogged her birth via an onslaught of Facebook statuses.

Seriously.


My friends and I watched, fascinated, as she shared gory details about centimetres dilated and cramps and pessaries from her hospital bed, each status more stomach-clenching than the last. The day after the baby was born she added 238 photographs to an album in its name. One of them was a close up of the baby’s testicles.

Seriously.

This appeared to aggravate one of her other Facebook-oversharing-friends into attacking her via Facebook, sparking a good old Facebook row (‘Ignore her hun, block and delete she’s just jealous’ – although why you would be jealous, unless you had a baby boy with no testicles, remains unexplained).


I learnt two things from this debacle; firstly that if I ever have a baby boy, I will try and look at him occasionally without the aid of a camera lens, and secondly, that Facebook is just awful these days. I have loved it and tried to keep that love alive for a very long time, but it is dying, and it’s death tolls just make me sad.

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Monday, 15 February 2016

Valentine’s Day

You don’t have to hashtag it.

I don’t need photographs of red roses, carefully filtered, an Etsy vase in Valencia light. I don’t want macaroons or macarons or chocolates carefully gift wrapped in gilt paper, a bow on the top, to be chain-eaten in miserable succession one rainy Tuesday evening, washed down guiltily with the last of the flat champagne. You don’t need to tell me I am a princess and I don’t need four kisses on the end of each text message and you don’t need to find it quirky that I refuse to eat my crusts or love the way I forget to take the plug out of the bath.

Love is not kissing in the rain, love is not big gestures or long holidays abroad or discount spa days bought from dodgy websites or dinners in basement Mexican restaurants served by Indian waiters in sombreros. Love is not a Facebook status, it is not #blessed, it isn’t breakfast in bed or lacy underwear or the smell of perfume on your pillow.

Love is the spaces in between. Love is knowing when to say yes and when to say no. It is taking a deep breath and saying sorry, it’s okay, hi, I love you.

I need you to tell me when I’m being out of line, and then hug me anyway. I need a kiss on the end of my nose when I slam my finger in the bathroom drawer. You need to meet me at the station when it’s late and I’m tired and cold, you need to eat my burnt offerings at dinner and insist enthusiastically that you love them. I want you to tell me I’m pretty and order me pizza when I say I look fat. Build me up, believe in me, love me. Love is coming home. 
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