Thursday, 31 December 2015

Life: reflecting on 2015

I don't mean to alarm you but... today is the last day of 2015! Weighing that up in mind is quite the crazy thought and I'm still questioning whether I was in daydream for most of the year or whether it did actually fly by that fast. What's been another mixed year in the real world - Kylie Jenner sending everyone lip crazy, that mind boggling dress, the man bun and beard trend, another royal baby, a ruthless election, Snapchat, Netflix and chill, a Star Wars phenomenon and Fifty Shades of absolutely everything, Adele bursting onto the scene again, One Direction announcing a 'break', the transformation of becoming a Belieber, Drake's dancing, the reach of the Back To The Future date, new emojis, some unfortunate and terrible disasters, and some blood, sweat and tears, the usual family loving, and some average adventures my way - in the blogging world it was a completely different story.


Monday, 28 December 2015

Ten things I've learnt since Christmas Day

Hello all! I hope you've had an absolutely amazing Christmas. I'm still in the delusional period that seems to hit me every year; the 'what day is it and what am I doing with my life' realisation once Christmas is over and done with and the new year is fast approaching. It's been a bit of a strange one for me, I had an absolutely lovely Christmas Day with all my family, consumed food my body isn't even used to and was completely spoilt rotten with both love and gifts. Boxing Day was a traditional visit to my grandma's for home-made dumplings and some well needed chilling out turned into three hours of nothing but sheer darkness, a phone light, a torch and a desire to finish watching catch-up Eastenders (turns out the horrendous floods in Leeds caused a huge power-cut across the city). And now? Well now I'm continuing to eat myself into oblivion on a diet of nuts and miniature chocolates (how long it'll be acceptable for me to do this, I do not know).

Thursday, 24 December 2015

My Christmas Eve traditions

Well, it's here. Another year has gone by in the blink of an eye and now it's just one more sleep until the big fat man with the long white beard slides down your chimney. I can't say it feels remotely Christmassy, as I've been so busy this week I haven't had the chance to flick the switch that allows me to unwind into the 'not to alarm you but it's Christmas tomorrow' mode but however I feel and whatever age I may be, Christmas Eve is always a special, joyful time in my household.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Wednesday Wishlist: dressing for the party season


Five healthy-ish Christmas snacks

It's no secret we all like to overindulge a little too much at Christmas time, using "ah why the hell not, it's Christmas" as an excuse for absolutely everything plausible. 'Tis the season to pile on the pounds and all that. Heck, I must have made my way through two tubs of Celebrations already and I can't seem to stop myself. The only trouble is, my body hates me for it. I wouldn't say I'm a super health freak but I do tend to sway towards the fruit and veg options now I'm used to ditching the sugar. If I flood my inners with the refined stuff I'm forever bloated, have terrible heartburn and my skin breaks out almost immediately. Which means I like to find food I can enjoy and have fun with, with no after effects.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Christmas in Leeds City Centre

It's rare I get the chance to explore and appreciate my own city, or maybe it's purely down to choice because I'm so familiarised with its surroundings that I just shake it off as being ordinary. It's easy to forget all the exquisite details of somewhere you've lived all your life but it's also great to get out there and refresh your mind to a more open state of discovery and admiration. I'm always so busy concentrating on a certain aspect of my hometown instead of a whole, so much so that I can often overlook the authenticity and the general northern vibe.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Life: La Redoute Northern Bloggers Christmas Party

If you've been keeping up with my blog (which I'm very thankful for if you have), then you'll know I attended one of two blogger events a couple of weeks back. The first was Leeds Xmas Meet, then a hurried bus ride home, quick spruce up, and a race with manic crowds through Leeds on a Saturday evening, next up was the La Redoute Christmas party exclusively for Northern bloggers. An event dubbed towards the non-central London bloggers? Yipee indeed!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Christmas wrapping: finding your theme

This year is the only year I've included a theme within my Christmas wrapping. I'd like to say I wasn't influenced by the formidable pinterest-worthy blogger choices of Kraft paper and twine but I'd be lying if I said so. That means that this December I've only just come to the conclusive realisation that sticking to one or two designs and jazzing them up to meet your tastes gives the best kind of result. As I'm a newbie to to this malarkey I thought it'd be useful to share what I've learned. Wrapping presents may not seem a big deal to most people but for a striving perfectionist like me, the satisfaction of completing that natural but fruitful look I aim for with everything in life is a grand feeling indeed.

Monday, 14 December 2015

#LeedsXmasMeet - a bloggers' dream day out

Just over a week ago (how time flies!) I attended a huge event I'd been looking forward to for so long now (I feel like it was 'thee' event of the year). If you're a Northern blogger and haven't seen, nor paid any attention to the hashtag #LeedsXmasMeet over on Twitter then I assume you're just as unresponsive as I am most days but we'll talk about that some other time. Organised by the fabulous Rhianna, a local blogger I met a few months back now and continue to see in this formed Leeds blogger circle, Leeds Xmas Meet was basically descriptive by title. A bloggers meet up in the heart of my hometown with 70 people coming from all over the M62 side of the country (and maybe even further, who knows?). Filled with fun, festivity and general chit chat, it was a chance to meet and greet some old and new faces whilst getting into the Christmas spirit and raising some money as we go along.


Saturday, 12 December 2015

Life: the Lush Leeds Spa event

Is it normal to squeal when an invite to a Lush event reaches your inbox? Probably. Because let's face it, when is Lush not exciting? Especially at the start of December to kick the festivities off with a bang. They never ever fail to impress and I was thrilled to be attending my first Lush Leeds Spa event (I've visited a Lush store event before but not the central Leeds one which made it even more anticipating). It was the fastest yes I've replied and upon joining lots of other 'VIP' bloggers (some regulars and some newbies) in a formed queue it was clear to see the feeling was mutual!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The Hedonist Project: Liquor & Whisky Parlour

It's hard to keep track of the new bar openings in the centre of Leeds, so much so that it's hard to choose between so many great venues. However, what makes The Hedonist Project different is its flagship, pop up notion - every 3 months it will change direction and focus on one variety in particular - adapting the name, the decor, the menu, and the highlighted alcoholic beverage. Unfortunately I missed the last two; Hogarth's Gin Joint and The Rum Shack beach bar in the summer, but was lucky enough to head to their launch of their freshly furnished Whisky and Parlour bar a couple of weeks back now - AND to make a situation even better, The Hedonist Project now has a permanent premises on Lower Briggate, slap bang in the middle of Leeds City Centre, making it a popular location for people to call in and enjoy a drink (and a snack) on a cold, winters afternoon. Refined and now serving food alongside their spirit collection - there's no excuse not to pay them a visit. 


Saturday, 5 December 2015

The launch of Leeds Fashion Initiative

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the launch of LFI (Leeds Fashion Initiative), a programme that marks the beginning of a long awaited, ambitious journey to create opportunities, re-establish Leeds as an international centre of fashion and regenerate the city's fashion, clothing and textiles industry. The stationary Leeds City' Museum was taken over by a passionate fashion frenzy catwalk show filled with delightful, distinctive, independent fashion brands bringing in importance from all areas; from journalists and celebrities, to bloggers, and keen fashion insiders.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Life: a luxury stay at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel

Those who know me, know I'm the definition of an introvert. There's nothing I love more than peace and tranquility, the opportunity to relax and unwind my inner tiring mind, put my feet up with a hot drink catching up on trashy TV, indulging in some pampering treats whilst soaking up the country air; so, when I was asked if I would like to review a night at Ox Pasture Hall, the luxury Scarborough hotel with a king suite, dinner and bed and breakfast included I was absolutely delighted and quite frankly, totally flattered.
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