Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Burgundy Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas

If anyone tells you that burgundy isn't a spring colour, cut them off. You don't need that kinda negativity in your life. Burgundy and black are my two go-to colours all year round. Lately, I have been living in this black heart print shirt that I got in the New Look sale for just £8 (who could resist such a bargain?). But I wanted to jazz up my usual uniform of this shirt, black jeans, boots, and a leather jacket by adding a dash of burgundy into the mix. That's when I found this gilet in the back of my wardrobe from last autumn and I was delighted. I also found these old peep-toe Primark heeled mules I bought last spring - I actually wore these to my wedding reception and they made my feet bleed (what woman doesn't want to spend her wedding day putting plasters on her toes??). They weren't quite as painful as before but the memories still haunt me every time I put these shoes on.

It may be clear to see that I am still searching for a good place to take outfit pictures in Cardiff. And I am also still searching for the confidence to not spend the whole time awkwardly laughing as my husband shouts 'do a sexy face!!' at me in our garden. The fact that one of our housemates were watching out the window didn't make it any easier. My face has two moods - either overexcited pre-teen or disgusted. As is evident from these pictures.


Shirt - New Look (old)
Gilet - Primark (old)
Jeans - Primark
Shoes - Primark (old)
I promise I will feature something new one day (but maybe don't hold your breath).

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Brunch at Waterloo Tea, Cardiff

A fact that few people actually know is that Newton theorised a fourth law of motion. It goes something like this: two young women will remain at rest unless acted upon with the promises of avocado based brunch.

This is what led my good friend Becky and I to Waterloo Tea in Cardiff on Sunday. The promise of avocado based cuisine hung thick in the air as we hurried through the cold, grey streets to our destination of choice. Well, admittedly, we had opted for Bill's initially but their breakfast menu finished at 1pm (which is 9am in student terms). So, we had a little trek around and found this cute teashop.

I had never actually had smashed avocado on toast before this experience but now I understand the hype. And the endless instagram pictures. It came with feta cheese and chilli oil (hot daym) and was on sourdough bread. My gosh, it was delicious. And oh so photogenic. Becky remarked after watching me take at least 10 pictures from every possible angle that she felt like we were acting like basic instagram white girls. It made me chuckle because I have no shame about taking 50 pictures before eating something. Oh, and choosing to sit outside because of the good lighting (anything for good lighting).

Becky opted for this ciabata with chicken, avocado, and other stuff in it (I admittedly have no idea what else was in there). It came on a fancy chopping board - very hipster - and was apparently very delicious.

Drinkswise, we were wanting juice. Lately, I have been crazy for trying all different juices and smoothies. I just opted for orange as you can't go wrong with orange. Becky had Luscombe Sicilian Lemonade (Devon, representtt) and I tried some - it was scrumptious.
They had lots of fancy teas and even matcha lattes on offer (I felt like 1pm was too early to drink something so unusual as bright green coffee). They also had a range of fancy herbal cakes but they seemed like too much bother at the time. I will definitely return to try those things when I am feeling more experimental though.

We then headed on to watch Hidden Figures at the cinema. I cannot recommend this film enough. I'm so taken by it that I'm even considering doing a separate post about it. Seriously, get to the cinema and watch this. You won't regret it.

Have you ever been to Waterloo Tea? Know any great food places in Cardiff? Love avocado? The last one is a trick question.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Life Lately

New jeans, who dis?
You know that moment when you see something from the other side of the shop and instantly fall in love? That was me and these jeans. Love at first sight. Despite being a bit tight on the ankles (have I started storing fat on my ankles?!?), they are otherwise perfect. You can get them from New Look here.

Living with my man
As you may have seen on my insta (*plugplugplug*), my man recently moved in with me. So, we took a lot of photos to mark the occasion. Naturally, I look like the witch of Wookey in all of them but I liked this one because of my little cheery face. And notice my man's 'made in Uganda' top - my mum bought him that.
Is it insulting that I mentioned the jeans before my man moving in? Oops!

Need I say more? I've been eating lots of scotch pancakes with red berries and honey. Don't tell my diet. I mean, it has fruit on it, right?

My dad is Jewish?!
You would have thought all the jewfros in my family would have given it away but no! My dad recently did a DNA test since he wanted to discover his ancestry and found out that his maternal line is all European Jew. Exciting, eh?

International Women's Day
A belated happy Women's Day to you all! I spent the day donning red lipstick (and worrying about whether it is on my teeth or if I have smudged it) and debating with my husband about gender roles. Being a blogger puts me in the path of many brilliant women who inspire me. I have read so many blog posts yesterday addressing the problems we, as a gender, still face. And I am happy to see more people focus on intersectional feminism as we need to fight for women of all classes, races, nationalities, and ages. Not just the privileged few.
This picture was made by my amazing friend Becky who is super talented and you should all check her out. She's a good egg. You can find her insta here.

Tymbark Drinks & Other Polish Goodies
A new Polish shop opened near me in Cardiff and everything is delicious. This drink is outrageously good and their gingerbread cakes and their breadsticks. Lord knows all my paycheck is gonna go straight to their pocket.

Ors Curls Unleashed
My curls are singing the praises of this hair smoothie. It smells yummy and you get a huge tub for your money. And it actually works! Would highly recommend for all curl types. You can get it in Boots or on their website.

How have you been spending your time lately?

Monday, 6 March 2017

What To Expect From An English Literature Degree

I am coming to the end of my BA in English Literature and it has been a real journey. In a few months, I will no longer be a student (unless I mess up and have to retake a year). So, I thought I would share with you my experiences of studying a degree in English.

Contact hours so low they may as well be wearing apple bottom jeans and boots with the fur
Sometimes it feels like a bit of a scam that you are paying £9000 a year for about 10 hours a week of classes. But it is also nice to have the time to watch reruns of Big Bang Theory on E4 - oh, I mean to use the time productively for studying... *guiltily looks up at TV which is playing Big Bang at 3pm*

So many women
Women are actually the best. We are innovative and imaginative and intelligent. But when we bring out the big gun topics like gender issues, you kinda wish more guys were there to be informed on our opinions.

Jane Eyre
Is it just my uni or are all English departments obsessed with this novel? I mean, I love it but I read it when I was in primary for fun (cool kid) then at GCSE then at A Level and at least 3 times as part of my degree. There is only so much analysis you can do of a book you have read 10 times.

The reading
Ok, you kind of expect a lot of reading from an English degree but the sheer volume of novels I have in my room now is astonishing. I could probably create my own house using books as bricks. Expect about 3 novels a week as primary reading.

Authors from across the globe
I gotta hand it to English department at my uni, they have really introduced me to a range of authors that I wouldn't have otherwise come across. My favourite so far has been The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy and anything by Toni Morrison.

No exams
This is one thing that I love about my course. We are set assignments of usually about 3000 words or less at the end of each term. Personally, I like not having the pressure of an exam but the lack of pressure does make me a little lazy and means I end up leaving the assignment until the night before more often than not. Admittedly, I only got two hours sleep last night because I had a mid term due in today. I am currently buzzing after I drank roughly a litre of coffee.

Creative response
You read a book. You get the option of writing a short story or poem based on what you have read as your assessment. Is this heaven? I would do this for fun.

No, I am not going to become a teacher
Whenever anyone asks me this, I respond with 'trouble is that I don't like children'. I am planning to throw a cackle and a disappearance into a cloud of smoke into the mix soon.

Are you at uni? What are you studying?

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Spring Has Sprung In Ambleside

Ok, maybe the weather hasn't quite caught on to the fact that it is meant to be Spring yet but that is not going to stop me. I am over jumpers and grey days and my hands turning purple every time I leave the house. I am so ready for longer days and pretty shirts and actual sunshine. So, like people doing a rain dance, I wore this outfit to the lake to try to entice the sun out.
Note: it didn't work and I grabbed my jacket back from my husband as soon as he took these pictures.

Top - Primark
Trousers - Topshop (similar)
Boots - New Look (old)
Necklace - asos (old)
Admittedly, we had spent most of the day watching Sherlock in front of the heater and eating fried rice (I love me some rice). But my husband had very kindly agreed to take these pictures for me and he stuck true to this word. We got a few sideway glances as we walked to the lakes with me dressed in anything other than the town's uniform of anoraks, thermals, and muddy walking boots but who cares?

This will possibly my last post coming to you from the Lake District though as my husband is moving down to Cardiff where I live during term time. It feels like the end of an era but I am excited to see what the future holds for us both. This place was our first home together and we will always treasure the memories we made here. But it is time to move forward and make memories somewhere new and exciting. Cardiff is just a stopgap. We have big plans and a whole world to explore.


Have you ever been to the Lake District? Because you should.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Lunch at Bella Italia, Exeter

Last week, I decided to go back to Devon for a couple of days to visit my family and, inevitably, we found ourselves on the bus heading towards Exeter for a big spend up. My eight year old sister had already browsed the Claire's Accessories website and selected a fair few sets of earrings which she wanted to buy. Having three younger siblings, I am used to shopping trips being centred around Claire's, Build A Bear, and Smiggle but we did manage to make it into Lush and a couple of clothes shops as well - thankfully as my sanity was slipping after the bright lights of Smiggle. We then headed to Bella Italia for lunch as we had heard that the kid's menu was great. I can uphold this - the kid's menu looked almost as good as the adult's menu.

The restaurant was dimly lit (as you may be able to tell from the picture quality) and felt very homely. There were little antiques and trickets all around and photographs and artwork adorning the walls. It was super busy on the day that we went but I think that is testimony to the popularity of this restaurant.

They had a large selection of cocktails and mocktails (finally something for the adults on this day out!). My auntie ordered meloncello - one of her favourites - but I decided against ordering alcohol as I am not too fussed on it in all honesty. So, I chose the peachberry mocktail which consisted of peach puree, cranberry juice, and soda water. It was pink and ombre and I could have drank about 5 of them.

My auntie and I decided to forgo starters (despite how tempted they sounded) but we nabbed a garlic bread strip each off of my sister's plate. She got about 5 garlic bread slices as a starter on her older kid's set menu and trust me when I say they were delicious. I love garlic bread anyway but this was so light and moreish. I had to hold myself back from grabbing the whole plate from her.

For my main course, I opted for the salmon with pesto, potatoes, and veg. The sauce that it came in what so delicious and the pesto with salmon was a combination I had never thought of before but I loved it. My auntie opted for the lasagne which was massive and so cheesy (just how it should be!). My sister got two mini burgers, a job lot of chips, and a salad skewer on her set menu. She spent most of the time smothering everything in tomato sauce before saying she was too full and giving me a plate of fries bathed in a pool of red - very horror movie-esque.

There was no way that I was going to ever say no to dessert. No matter how full I am, there is always space for dessert. And I was very happy to see that they had a dairy free chocolate cake with cherries on the top. Trust me, this was the most rich, chocolatey dessert I ever had. I couldn't even finish it because I felt like Augustus Gloop falling into a chocolate river. Or Bruce Bogtrotter. Or both. Definitely the way to go for dairy free people though who sometimes have to forgo that chocolate cake fix. My auntie went for the limencello meringue pie which I was also so tempted by. And my sister got mini donuts in chocolate sauce.

Overall, we had a delicious meal and the total bill for the three meals was under £40 which, I think, is quite good. I would definitely go back again as I have my eye on a mushroom burger that they have. Also that limoncello meringue pie - I need it!

Disclaimer: food was paid for in full and the restaurant did not know I would be blogging about them

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Curly Hair Struggles

My ex once described my hair as a 'beautiful inconvenience' and I think he wasn't far from the truth. I don't feel like myself when I don't have my curls falling down over my shoulders but they can also be an absolute nightmare. I think most curly girls will be able to relate to the struggles of having curly hair in a straight hair world.
Things get lost in it
I'm going to share with you a real life example of this that happened yesterday. So, I turned up for work and found - to my horror - that I had left my hairband at home and I can't work with food without one. So, my colleague suggested I use a chopstick he'd found out back. He helped me stab the chopstick through the bun I had scraped together and - surprise surprise - it snapped entirely in half. One half fell to the floor, the other was lost in the abyss. It took me five minutes of shaking my hair around before it finally came out.
There is hardly any selection when it comes to hair products
Imagine the scene. I run out of hair oil but the oil I had wasn't designed for curly hair and didn't make much of a difference. So, I head into Boots to find something better. I find a single stand in the three aisles of hair products designed for curly hair. By curly hair, I mean everything from a 2a to a 4c contained in about 15 bottles. It is even worse when you are outside of the city. In rural areas, there is pretty much nothing for curls. For example, the Boots in Ambleside told me that they don't stock anything for curly hair and I would have to travel to the nearest city to find said products. Great.

Products cost a small fortune
If I won the jackpot on the lottery, I would spend it all on products for curly hair. Those 8 new products would really come in handy.
But seriously, why is it so expensive? People with straight hair can just buy Poundland shampoo and conditioner and it doesn't make too much of a difference. Of course it isn't the best but at least they wouldn't end up looking like Hermoine after a potions class.

Wash day is hell on earth
How do people wash their hair and then just head out and it is dry after an hour? It takes mine 4 hours minimum to air dry. And if I don't slap the product on the minute I step out of the shower then all is lost. Also the tangles! Oh, the tangles.

The straightening phase
I am pretty sure that most curly haired girls went through the straightening or relaxer phase. Those 5am starts to straighten your hair to leave for school at 7am. Then by 10am, it is curly again. Guys, I even straightened my hair for my wedding (which I deeply regret). So not worth it.

It rains on your good hair day
Why is this always the way? You don't even need to get your hair wet for it to turn into a frizzy mess. I took this pics today before I headed out to post a parcel and when I got back, my hair was huge.

It will suffocate your partner
Anyone else have a partner who complains about having your hair in their face when they are trying to sleep. I am sorry, it just spreads out! I can't help it. Now I have to contain it in a bun when I sleep. Joys of marriage, eh?

People ask you where you are from
People assume you are foreign or mixed with something because of your hair. When I tell them that I am Jewish on my dad's side, I get the whole 'ohhh ok' thing.

What are your experiences with curly hair?