Sunday, July 30

The Anti-Haul

Fashion blogging is something I have known about and followed for years despite not starting my blog until 2014. When I first started fashion blogging wasn't high end editorial snaps with the latest Chanel Bag or Valentino Shoes, it was snapping outfit shots in your bedroom or back garden with a tripod or a disgruntled family member. It was a place to look to for inspiration and tips on what to wear and how to style the different trends. It was relatable and most of all it was enjoyable.

Fast forward to 2017 and the blogging world has evolved and come on leaps and bounds. The content some bloggers are putting out is absolutely insane and the hard work and originality of these people has finally been recognised and rewarded. With these natural developments, Ive seen an increase in the designer hauls and luxury items being styled which quite frankly are out of my price range. I am not bitter or jealous in anyway, kudos to you if you can afford these kind of luxuries, its just that I myself prefer to splurge on experiences and travelling rather than materialistic things. That's not to say I haven't considered maxing out the credit card for a Chloe Faye because quite frankly who hasn't? It's just for me in my life right now designer gear just isn't feasible. 

In a world where some would argue fashion blogging has become saturated I am loving the influx of people sharing their outfits of the day, their adaptions of the latest trends, and their attainable personal style for the world to see. Not everyone has fancy equipment and a best friend who is also a sick photographer and so you have to make it work with what you've got and what's within your budget. In the spirit of combating consumerism today I am trialing the concept of an anti-haul. As the name suggests instead of running through a bunch of stuff that I have recently bought I am going to talk you through some of the things that I am NEVER going to buy.

Slides are like marmite you even love them or hate them and I for one absolutely detest them. If your poolside and need something that you can slip on and off quickly then fine but for ALL other occasions these are just a no. You may as well just wear your slippers outside instead of buying a new pair. Although there is one thing worse than the holographic, embellished, faux fur slides that are making the rounds at the moment...fluffy ones!

Lace Up Trousers
There's a big difference between being provocative and just being damn right distasteful and unfortunately for me these teeter on the side of the latter. If your off to a fancy dress party as a call girl then chuck on a leather pair and your good to go, but for any other occasion don't even think about it. 

Underboob Anything
Girls, girls, girls...what the fuck happened to less is more? It looks like you either had a fight with a pair of scissors and lost or bought a bikini two sizes too small. Its not sexy and its definitely not cute so please for the love of god cover yourselves up. I'm all for flaunting what you've got but not if this means your practically working around naked. 

Frill Hem Trousers
I am all for a bit of frill and I am loving the pleated, fluted and ruffled sleeves that are all over the high street at the moment. What I am not loving is the frill hem trousers which seem to be cropping up here, there and everywhere! A trend thats set to be with us through till Winter, I'd rather a straight leg cigarette trouser every day of the week. 

Kitten Heels
It is universally accepted in the fashion world that kitten heels are just not acceptable in any shape or form. They are unflattering, frumpy and completely outdated. They keep trying to make a comeback and now and then you'll see them start popping up all over the high-street, but they never catch on and I doubt they ever will. 

Monday, July 24

The Addams Family at the Mayflower

From the writers of the award winning Jersey Boys with music and lyrics from Andrew Lippa comes the Addams Family* - a musical comedy. Inspired by the legendary American cartoonist Charles Addams, this spooky, kooky family favourite is brought to life on the stage with fresh musical arrangements accompanied by a live orchestra. The Mayflower sees the UK and Ireland premiere of this weirdly wonderful show with a star studded cast featuring Samatha Womack as Morticia, Les Dennis as Uncle Fester, Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday and Cameron Blakely as Gomez. Joined by Pugsley, Grandma, Lurch and the rest of the family, the show opens with the insanely catchy 'When Your an Addams' showcasing the casts exceptional abilities. The story that follows is one of trials and tribulations as Wednesday is all grown up with a big secret to tell. 

This heartwarming story of love, family and friendship follows Wednesday as she invites her boyfriends family round to meet her kooky clan. After Wednesday shares a secret with her doting father, Gomez spends the whole evening in a personal battle of morality... should he keep her secret safe whilst keeping his cherished wife in the dark? It all comes to head with hilarious consequences in this wacky and wonderful stage show which will have you clicking and clapping away along all night. 

I was expecting more of a pantomime affair aiming for more of a younger audience but I was pleasantly surprised by the satirical comedy matched with the catchy musical renditions which were pulled together by this incredible cast. Each and every character in this show was exceptional and together they achieved a flawless performance. Samantha is electrifying as Morticia, gliding across the stage with an unexpected warmth to her. Having only seen her in Eastenders before I wasn't expecting much but I was blown away by her portrayal of this sultry matriarch, with a dazzling voice to match. Her chemistry with Blake is spine tingling and together they steal the show with their dynamic mix of wit and charm. 

Carrie Fletcher really raises the roof with her performance as Wednesday Addams whilst her voice will leave you with goosebumps. Throughout the show she delivered standout performances but the highlight has to be her solo 'Pulled' which was spine tingling. Les Dennis is unrecognisable as Uncle Fester with his meddling, good natured ways and his romance with the moon, I think everyone had developed a soft spot for him by the end. Dickon Gough played Lurch who was another firm favourite, he did not need to say a word to have the whole audience in fits of giggles.  

Diego Pitarch has done exceptionally when it came to the costumes and set, as they really help to pull you into their gloomy world. Each character's costume matched their eccentric personalities and the detail that had gone into every single design was clear to see even from the dress circle. The stage featured two staircases which were moved throughout the performance to create the illusion of different rooms within the Addams residence. All the elements pulled together created a faultless performance for the whole family to enjoy. So if you`re looking to relive a childhood memory or create memories with children of your own, The Addams Family is the perfect show for you.

You can see the Adams Family at the Mayflower Theatre from the 18th July - 29th July 2017. For future tour locations and dates see here

* Complimentary tickets
* Press pictures provided by Mayflower theatre 

Tuesday, July 18

Batiste 2in1 Dry Shampoo & Conditioner

I absolutely hate washing my hair - in fact there is nothing I hate more. I find the whole thing such a chore and with my thick, long barnet it can take a good hour to wash, blow-dry and straighten my hair. I have quite a busy lifestyle and I just don't have the time to do this every other day, so I tend to only partake in this god awful task once a week. Yes you can call me lazy all you want but I've found that my locks can withstand a good seven days before they start looking super greasy and lifeless. Plus if you wash your hair too often you can in fact strip your hair of any natural oils which makes your hair greasier as your scalp works to produce more oil. 

Throughout the week I often find I need a little pick me up to refresh my locks and keep the grease levels under control. Does anyone else remember when talcum powder used to be the go to for this? Let's all just be thankful that those days are over. Having dark hair means I often struggle to find products that don't leave that white, chalky, residue in my hair. I've tried various different brands but I always come back to Batiste*. Their products are hands down some of the best I've tried and for such affordable prices you really can't go wrong.

Recently they launched a new 2 in 1 formula which is an invisible dry shampoo and conditioner which boasts 18 hours conditioning. You simply shake the can to activate the ingredients, hold at arms length and mist all over the hair. Afterwards you massage into the roots, working through with a brush or your fingers, to receive super soft luscious locks. Unlike most formulas which you spray directly on the roots, this new product brings with it a new way to spray. The shampoo removes excess oil while the conditioner adds nourishment and softens the hair. A quick spritz will refresh your roots without drying out your ends, leaving you with luscious locks all day long. 

The formula has been specially designed for dry, damaged, curly and coloured hair. It targets dryness, and keeping your hair smooth and hydrated all day long. Not only will your locks be looking fine but they will also be smelling fine with three gorgeous fragrances to chose from. Pick from orange and pomegranate, cocoa and cashmere and vanilla and passionflower. All the fragrances are utterly divine and linger on the hair all day long, with my personal favourite being orange and pomegranate which is so fruity and light - perfect for Summer. 

This product doesn't leave any nasty white residue or chalkiness which is my pet peeve and you can pretty much see the results almost instantly. I've been using this product pretty much daily for about two weeks now and its clear to see how much this reduces excess oil. The ends and mid length of my hair always feel so soft and luxurious after using this which I have never found with any other hair products I've used before. This adds the perfect level of shine and texture to leave my hair looking and smelling magnificent all day long. If you`re in the market for a new dry shampoo that doesn't dry out your hair then you wont be disappointed. 

What's your favourite dry shampoo?
* Gifted as part of a word of mouth trnd campaign. 

Wednesday, July 12

Rogue's Cafe

In the heart of Southampton, just off of Guildhall Square, you'll find the unconventional and quirky Rogue's Cafe. Serving up a premium breakfast and brunch menu all day long, this unconventional cafe offers high quality, ethically sourced dishes. When the invitation for bloggers brunch dropped into my inbox from Soton Bloggers I couldn't be more excited to pop along and try out the brunch menu for myself. So a couple of weeks later on a sunny Saturday morning, we descended upon Rogue's to fuel up on pancakes, avocado on toast and fresh smoothies. 

The cafe is spread over two floors with a real charm and character about the place. There is art work all over the walls which was has been handmade by the staff members which really adds to the atmosphere of this quirky little cafe. If your lucky enough you may even get to meet Percy, who is Rogue's main attraction and the friendliest dog I have ever met. The eclectic decor helps highlight the welcoming and relaxed ambience this cafe has to offer with an equally eclectic menu to match. 

The brunch menu has a wide selection of choices including american pancakes, french toast, poached eggs and asparagus on sourdough toast and a hearty full English. Basically a brunch lovers heaven - in fact I dare you to find something you won't like. If you`re looking for something slightly more indulgent than be sure to check out the main menu. There's a little bit of everything from burgers and chicken wings to pie and nachos. Everything is freshly prepared with local, free range ingredients sourced wherever possible. If you're after a break from the norm then you have definitely come to the right place with quirky interiors, and friendly faces - there is little not to like. 

Overall there isn't really a better way to spend a Saturday morning than with pancakes and a fabulous group of people. A big thank you to Alice and Emily for organising such an amazing morning, to the guys at Rogue's for letting us descend upon them and everyone who contributed to help the sanitary protection collection organised by the girls for The Homeless Period- an admirable volunteer led campaign dedicated to providing vulnerable people with necessary sanitary protection. If you find yourself in or around Guildhall Square be sure to check this  place out. 

Thursday, July 6

The Ultimate UK Bucket List: 50 Exhilarating Experiences

The UK is one of the most underrated countries to visit in Europe I think. There is so much culture and beauty which often gets overlooked for its overseas partner. I recently posted about 50 Dreamy Destinations from my UK bucket list, so today I thought I would share the other half of my UK bucket list: 50 Exhilarating Experiences. There's a real big variety of activities and experiences I've wanted to do for a while now. I actually booked the Beauty and Beast afternoon tea for my friend's birthday next year and I cannot wait. I am not sure what the next experience will be that I tick off the list, but I am excited to go on this journey and take you guys with me. 
1. Climb up the O2 in London
2. Fly on England's longest zip line above the Eden Project
3. Ride the London Eye 
4. Go wine tasting at a British Vineyard 
5. Zoom down the ArcelorMittal Orbit Slide in London
6. Camp for the weekend at Glastonbury
7. Watch a British finalist at Wimbledon 
8. Get dressed up and spend the day at Ascot Races
9. Visit the Harry Potter Studio’s
10. Take a tour around a Gin Distillery
11. Indulge in afternoon tea on a double decker bus around London
12. Watch a Shakespeare play in Stratford 
13. Go punting in Cambridge 
14. Take a surfing lesson in Newquay
15. Attend a British Grand Prix
16. Tour the Houses of Parliament 
17. Go on the Jack the ripper walking tour in London
18. Watch a Red Arrow’s RAF Display Team 
19. Watch the boat races at Regatta 
20. Attend the Grand National 
21. Experience the Beauty and the Beast Afternoon Tea
22. Attend the Notting Hill Carnival 
23. Watch a Shakespeare play in Stratford
24. Watch the Proms at the Albert Hall
25. Watch a West End show in London
26. Go Zorbing 
27. Attempt a Live Escape Game
28. Attend a pole fitness class 
29. Go on a Canoe trip
30. Ride a Segway
31. Feed animals at the zoo
32. Go horse-riding 
33. Go to a roller disco 
34. See a ballet 
35. Watch an Opera 
36. Tour a Whisky factory in Ireland 
37. Dine at a Michelin Star Restaurant
38. Spend a day at a Go-Ape
39. Drive a sports car 
40. Do an Indoor skydive 
41. Experience Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea
42. Walk across a suspension bridge
43. Milk a cow 
44. Attend a black tie event 
45. Attend Gay Pride in London  
46. Experience a murder mystery dinner 
47. Sit in a TV show audience 
48. Visit Winter Wonderland 
49. Attempt a 5k Run
50. Attempt the Liquid Leisure water assault course 
What's on your UK bucket list? 

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