Nothing irks me more than people with poor tube etiquette. I understand that it's rammed on the platform, you're late to work, you haven't had your morning coffee yet and have your face in a man's sweaty armpit. I do. I get it. And while the sentence should end with 'but that's no reason to get rude', I feel like sometimes some people really do need a punch in the face to realise they are making everybody's lives much more difficult than they need to be.
We all have the same goal : Get from A to B. Let's make this happen as quickly and painlessly as possible by following this guide for idiots.
1. Stand on the right. STAND ON THE FUCKING RIGHT. If you are approaching an escalator and you know you haven't the stamina to make it to the top, start edging towards the right as you approach the escalator. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT get 'stuck on the left', try to make your way up, realise you can't make it, refuse out of pride to step to the right and end up clawing your way to the top at the pace of a salted snail, holding up everyone behind you.
2. Wait for people to get off the tube before you start to get on. It's manners. The train won't leave until everybody is off, and until a good amount of people have gotten on. Pushing your way on before everyone else is off makes it ten times harder for people trying to get off to do so quickly. You're slowing everyone else down because you won't wait an extra 4 seconds for a seat.
3. Give your seat up for the pregnant and elderly. Don't be a dick and pretend to be asleep.
4. Don't fucking try to hold the doors open so you can get on. What you are effectively doing is causing a tiny, tiny delay in which the tube shuts and then re-opens the doors just so you can get on. If everybody on every tube was as selfish as you we would be delayed by hours and never get anywhere. There is never a tube more than 4 minutes away, (in rush hour 2 minutes!) so just bloody wait for the next one.
5. Don't try to talk to strangers on the tube, especially during morning rush hour. Nobody has time for this, no matter how friendly you think you're being.
6. Make a conscious effort to walk in a straight line. There is nothing more frustrating than being in a rush, trying to overtake someone who is weaving in and out as they dawdle along so you end up dancing behind them like Taylor Swift trying to get past.
7. DO NOT GET OFF THE TUBE AND STAND IN FRONT OF THE DOOR WAITING FOR SOMEONE. You can make it 3 more steps further forwards and wait against the wall, thus not holding up everyone else trying to get off/onto the tube you've just exited.
8. DO NOT STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF AN EXIT / DOORWAY. You are in the underground, holding up everyone else behind you who are trying to get past. Step aside, this really is common sense.
9. Not having your Oyster card ready at the barrier, stopping at the barrier to locate it. Was it a surprise that the barrier was there? No? Then why weren't you fucking ready for it?
10. If you have a backpack for the love of God, take if off and put it between your feet when you get onto a busy tube. Imagine how many more people would fit on if everyone who had a backpack did this.
To be honest I'm embarrassed I even had to write this post because some people have literally no common sense or courtesy, but there it is. Next time you get onto a tube may you remember all of these things and leave in the peaceful knowledge that you are better than 50% of the population in London. Congratulations.
I cannot stress to you how long I was searching for a pair of Mom jeans that suited me. As someone who is quite pear-shaped with a small waist and ankles and then hips Shakira would praise, finding anything high-waisted to suit my frame is a nightmare. I tried all the high street stores before deciding to take the plunge and try online. Online shopping for jeans due to the predicament just mentioned is usually a nightmare, ending with a returns trip to the post-office and my postage money lost. My first point of call was Missguided, my online favourite for affordable clothing.
As someone who regularly tans and finds myself battling the dreaded neck/face tan line, I decided to invest in a decent face tanner. We wash and cleanse and exfoliate our faces every day, so it's no surprise our faces struggle to keep a tan for as long as the rest of our bodies. I decided to try to St Tropez gradual tanner, which I use most nights just before bed like a night-moisturisor. Every few days when my face is at a good colour I'll use my Nivea night moisturiser instead, to keep my skin on good form.
It doesn't smell at first but as with most tanners by morning it develops into a slightly biscuity smell. Not the most terrible tanning smell by all accounts though. I can't remember quite how much this tiny bottle cost, about £12 I think but it has lasted a lot longer than I thought it would and in the morning my face is a nice brown tan rather than orange. It doesn't seem to streak very easily either, which is a bonus. I squeeze a pea size amount onto my hand before rubbing in all over in circular motions.
I would recommend this and would buy it again, it does what it says on the tin and seems a good value for money. I've been using it for over a month now and my face has safely kept up with my body, which is mission accomplished from my point of view.
For as long as I can remember I have been a strong advocator of a good, old fashioned list. In the same style as Miranda in Sex and the City when she curated a list of pros and cons of her husband when deciding whether or not to leave him, I've found a visual list most helpful. From deciding between two potential boyfriends at the age of 14 (turns out neither of them wanted me), to gym vs sofa & chips. (That one's always a coin-flipper in the end.)
When I finished my degree I envisioned myself in a London flat going out at the weekends, drinking Dark 'n' Stormy cocktails and feeling like a British Carrie Bradshaw. I got a job in property headhunting and for a while, that vision was as close to reality as it could have been. Only problems being I wasn't doing the job I wanted to do and the hours were so long I didn't have the energy to write (or blog) when I came home. After an extensive pros and cons list I decided to leave my job and take a (much lower paid) job as a content writer for a fashion brand. And I'm happier. Truly, I am. But 2 months in and I can't afford my rent anymore, I can't really afford to eat (it's a really great diet method), and I definitely can't afford much of a social life. Which brings me to this list, although I have already worked out the outcome.
(My family home is in a green and leafy home-county.)
Expensive sodding rent versus no rent!
£120 travel per month versus £415 travel per month.
1 hour tube commute versus 1 hour 45 min Southern Rail commute.
Not much time to write my novel versus a long ass commute to write my novel in. (Stay tuned.)
Not able to do my Charlotte Crosby Belly Blitz DVD without pissing off the downstairs neighbours versus a ground floor bedroom to do my workout DVD every morning. (Okay, probably not every morning...)
No dogs versus wake up kisses from my dog again every morning. (This is the deal breaker.)
20 minute walk away from my boyfriend versus 1 hour and a half train ride away from my boyfriend.
Sunny weekends at food/ flower markets and pub gardens versus weekend afternoons with old close friends at a crackden pub where we try to avoid people we see from school.
£12 cocktails versus pretty much no options for cocktails anywhere.
No legitimate fear of running into exes or anyone you've ever known versus a very real fear of running into all your exes in one day alongside everyone from your school and their entire family tree.
A polluted city run where everyone and their mother will see you panting and you can't stop for fear of being judged as an unfit weakling who won't make it past the cold, long winter versus countryside runs where you will only see a man and his two collies.
My own dietary plans which tend to be hardcore clean eating with spurts of unsupervised child at a birthday party versus homemade cooking made with love by Mum.
SO MANY SHOPPING DISTRACTIONS NEARBY versus absolutely no decent shopping distractions nearby.
No chance of ever escaping my student overdraft versus a very real chance to be out of my student overdraft in only 2 short months.
No chance of affording any sort of holiday versus the chance to save up and potentially head to Florida in Autumn with my boyfriend.
No chance of getting FOMO (fear of missing out) because you're always a tube ride away from the fun versus becoming a very real, living embodiment of FOMO which I would have probably every single day.
Living with randoms who may potentially be horrifically messy/inconsiderate versus living with family are 100% a pain in the butthole at times.
No chance of murdering sister versus highly increased likelihood of murdering sister.
So yeah, if you haven't guessed it yet I'm moving back home. I'm pretty gutted in all honesty as I do feel as though I'm taking a backwards step but it's definitely the right thing to do in my situation to give myself a chance to save up some money. My heart belongs in London, and the day will definitely come. It's just not today.
I recently came across an article which shows a leech the size of an arm sucking blood out of a forearm. I won't post it on my blog, but if you're not squeamish and consider yourself a curious soul you can see it here. The man apparently keeps this leech as his pet and allows it to feed off of his own blood to keep it alive. It is bigger and fatter than his forearm and looks like a giant slug. But it's filled with his blood. He literally shares blood types with his pet.
My makeup routine was in need of a seasonal uplift, so I decided to pick up some bits and bobs from MAC. The first thing I wanted was an eyeshadow to give my standard every-day brown smokey eye a bit of a summer flush. I knew I wanted something warm, but I like to stay away from reds and pinks in case it looks like I have some kind of eye infection so I steered towards to oranges. I ended up going for the darker, and very bright Brick Red matte eye shadow.
I'm happy with the colour, it's very bright but blended in with my usual brown tones it down and it's warm enough to bring out the hint of green in my eyes. I like that it's matte as I generally like to avoid sparkle and shine as much as possible to detract away from my oily complexion. I think it was about £12, but as I don't switch my eye makeup up very often it will last me a long time and I'll probably wear it most days.
The next thing I wanted was a more orange based blush to go alongside it. I think this is a colour which will only really good look on paler skin, so perhaps more suited to the winter months than the summer when I find pinks look good on my skin when it's caught a bit of colour. I went for Modern Manderin, which comes out a lot less bright than it looks on the palette for a more discreet flush. There's barely any shimmer in it as well, which I prefer.
The blush was bit more expensive but again, it will last the test of time unless I smash it. (Touch wood!) The only other two blushes I really flick between are Dallas and Coralista by Benefit, so it's nice to have three options. This one will be my go-to on paler days with a nude lip, whereas Dallas is perfect for a deeper tan with a bold lip and Coralista suits any skin-tone with any lip colour other than red. I'm happy with my choices, and feel like my makeup has definitely gotten the Spring feelings it needed after a long and dreary winter!
My recent obsession with interior styling means this week's Style Edit is not fashion based. I'll do a few homeware wishlists too, and when the day comes (it may be in 20 years time at this rate) that I have my own flat, I'll have a bank of all the things I can look back on for decorative inspiration. (Or to see all the stuff I missed out on buying at the time because I didn't have my own flat.) Can't wait.
I have a terrible love affair on fashion with interior design. It's a love that pains me due to the fact that I rent, and therefore cannot replace the hideous furniture or decorate my flat properly. My pain is further afflicted because I live in London, where it is unlikely I will ever afford a mortgage. The pain is real. That doesn't stop me daydreaming and pinning away on Pinerest every waking minute of my day.
One thing which I think is so important is the coffee table. As the central piece of a living room, I think the three things a stylish coffee table should have are a candle, a potted plant and of course, some good flick-worthy books. Below are the most beautiful books and magazines which I would adorn my coffee table with. If I had one. Which I don't. No big deal. No bitterness over here.
When I was 14it was the 'scene' look. I sported heavy raccoon-style eyeliner (think Taylor Momsen but less expertly applied) and white streaks in my hair, which was of course back brushed, sprayed into a ridiculously sweeping side-parting and covered in as may bow clips as I could find. Anything hot pink and black was the coolest thing ever and my wardrobe looked like a dark japanese anime had exploded into it. I was into boys who hung out at skate parks with Phase 1 Justin Bieber hair.
Style Icon: Brookelle Bones
Wishlist Item: Leopard print hair extension strips (yes they are a thing), and cigarettes. Not to smoke, just for the image.
Social Media of Choice: Myspace, duh.
Music Taste: Hadouken, Bring me the Horizon, Rise Against
When I was 16it evolved slightly into a vintage/grunge phase. My hair remained just as big, and I discovered hair extensions so I could perfect the thick, messy, matted hair look. At one point I got a dreadlock put in at a Camden hair salon with beads in it. Yes, just one dreadlock. The makeup toned right down thank God, and for my wardrobe I opted for anything from a Brighton thrift shop. Black and tartan were my go-tos, alongside military boots and a pretty piece of jewellery to feminise it. I looked like a homeless person with good makeup most of the time, wearing clothes that were too big for me and trying to awkwardly pull it off. I was still into boys who hung out at skate parks with Phase 1 Justin Bieber hair. Most of them smoked a lot of weed now too.
Style Icon: Miley Cyrus pre-melt down. (When she still had long hair.)
Wishlist Item: A battered old Mulberry bag would have been the dream.
Social Media of Choice: Facebook.
Music Taste: Enter Shikari were the favourite, but anything drum n bass or dub step. Pendulum, Chase & Status and Dillinja were big players.
When I was 18 it all went downhill again. My style was anything slutty. The shorter and tighter, the better. My hair was finally at a good place in its life now, but I dressed how I thought boys liked me to look rather than how I liked to look. It wasn't flattering. My accessory of choice was vodka and I spent most of my time tottering around in 6 inch stilettos that I thought made me look good. In fact it made it look like I had shit myself because I could barely walk, so I just waddled about instead. I found a penchant for piercings, and got about 12 done in quick succession. My ideal man wore band tees, never washed his hair and had 8 inch holes in his ears. The type of man who if I saw now I would refer to as a man-baby. (Someone who never grew up post-puberty.)
Style Icon: Rebecca Fox, Megan Fox, Mel Clarke
Wishlist Item: A full sleeve and a pair of stripper heels.
Social Media of Choice: Tumblr.
Music Taste: Anything playing at da clubbbb. (Cringe cringe cringe cringe)
When I was 20I spent my time trying so hard to dress cooler than I was. I don't have the confidence or the personality for the outfits I desperately tried to pull off. My hair and makeup had settled down into a comfortable zone, but in stark contrast my outfits were a mesh of the brightest colours and zaniest patterns I could find. If it clashed, great. Anything to stand out from the crowd. The tackier the better. Huge plastic gold hoops?! Sign me up! Leopard print was what the majority of my wardrobe was made of. Street-style pieces like Adidas bombers were also a favourite. Any guy with tattoos and a snapback cap was a dreamboat.
Style Icon: Anyone remotely cool. Street style was a big influencer.
Wishlist Item: A pair of high heel leopard print boots would have been the dream.
Social Media of Choice: Back to Facebook.
Music Taste: I found my music taste around this time. Mostly acoustic covers.
NowI dress for myself. My style is boring compared to how it used to be. It's quiet and you wouldn't notice it. I'm comfortable. I've retained some loves over the years. I lean towards cleaner, scandi style outfits. Tailoring is something I love now, and I'm learning to dress for my body. In a contrast to a few years ago I'll always lean towards blacks, whites, beiges and nudes. I go for a good staple, and pieces I love will tend to comprise of lace, florals, leather and bretton stripes. I don't know if this is still just a phase, but for once I feel like I'm dressing because I like the way I look rather than to please anyone else, and in finding things that flatter my figure I feel more confident. I think that's the key to finding your true style. Don't follow the trends for the sake of it, wear what you like because it makes you feel good, and you will always look confident and beautiful. A man who treats me right, is respectful and an absolute sweetheart is what I want now. Only took me 23 years to work that one out!
Style Icon: Miranda Kerr, The Olsen Twins, Scandi style.
Wishlist Item: The perfect pair of high waist jeans. I still haven't found them.
Social Media of Choice: Instagram. Calliekazumi
Music Taste: I'm sticking with my acoustic love for now.
The first of my new series where I'm going to try to become a domestic goddess, a culinary mastermind, a chef to rule all chefs. Or at least learn how to cook edible thing. My introduction to the new series is available here.
Most of the time I will focus on healthy savoury meals, but as it was Easter weekend I thought I would try to satisfy the need for a bit of sugar in my life. (I seem to lack a sweet tooth.) So here we go, my easy chocolate brownie recipe!
225g butter, cut into little bits.
100g dark chocolate.
100g white chocolate.
225g self raising flour.
125g caster sugar.
3 large eggs.
A dusting of icing sugar. (Optional.)
1. Simmer a pan of water on the hob and place a heat proof bowl on the top, so it doesn't touch the water but sits comfortably on the pan. Put the butter and dark chocolate in the pan and stir until all melted. Once it's all melted put it aside to cool for a bit.
2. Sieve the flour and caster sugar into a separate mixing bowl. (A big one.)
3. In a separate little bowl beat the eggs up, and then add them to your choco-butter mixture. Mix it up well!
4. So now you have your sugar and flour in a big bowl and the butter-choco-egg mixture in a smaller one. Pour it all into the big bowl and stir ferociously as if your life depends on it. Because your brownies do. You should end up with a gloopy mixture with all the items mixed in well.
5. Chop up the white chocolate into small chunks and stir them in as well.
6. Pour everything into a baking tray which has been lined with baking paper and oiled down. Stick it in a 180 degree pre-heated oven for half an hour and take them out when they look firm.
7. After they cool down you can cut them into little squares and give them a small dusting of icing sugar for good measure. Done!
Yum Factor: Pretty high.
Feeds: Lots of hungry bellies. Probably about 10-12 people.
If I could do it again I would: Use a bigger baking tray, mine ended up more like a cake and the centre was only gooey on a few of the middle pieces.
If you use this recipe let me know how you get on!
I am a terrible cook. I don't particularly enjoy it and my general knowledge on what flavours work well together and techniques is absolutely shocking. I've decided that in a bid to get better and learn to enjoy cooking, I'm going to challenge myself to try a new recipe once a week, which I'll post on a Monday. It will be anything from a breakfast smoothie to a full roast, but I'll document my progress and hopefully learn something new.
This is also a bid to get into a routine for my blog, which has perished as of late. I plan on posting on a Saturday with a Style Edit, my favourite picks from various stores. Eventually I want to get to a point where I can regularly post an Outfit Of The Day piece as well, but until then does anyone have any ideas on regular features you would like to see?
Full-time writer and blogger. I write about fashion and occasionally scathing accounts retelling instances where people have wronged me. I am a strong believer, proud advocator and solemn enforcer of the Wine Wednesday movement.