Traveler. Novelist. Freelance Writer. Blogger. Surfer. Artist. Crazy Cat Lady.

Traveler. Novelist. Freelance Writer. Blogger. Surfer. Artist. Crazy Cat Lady.

Friday, May 31, 2013

What I Wore Today

Firstly I'd like to apologize for the terrible photo quality. I promise to stop uploading photo's from my crappy blackberry soon... the quality is disgusting. I'm sorry!!






Today has been fabulous. 

I woke up at 04h45, had my morning coffee, dashed into work to help them an out for an hour and then did an aqua aerobics class. 
After class I decided to take some chill time in the spa sauna room with the book I am reading at the moment, Fifty Shades of Darker. 
Reading a book like that in a steaming hot, sweltering sauna room... somewhat fitting! 

After a quick read, I retreated back home where I had a shower and then played with my new hairstyle for a good hour or so. 

I've never had short hair and in just two days I have developed a slight love affair with it. 

Once I'd used some moulding gum to keep it in place, I chose my outfit for the day and went to meet my friend, Gareth, for lunch at Tin House Cafe. I had a delicious tuna and gherkin baguette and enjoyed a good chat with him before we parted ways. 

Tonight I am off to a local sports bar to catch up with some friends that I haven't seen since getting back from my Europe travels and this is my outfit of choice... I've been wearing it since lunch and really liked it! 


What I Wore:



Shoes: New Look
Dress: Hang Ten
Sunglasses: Gucci
Cardigan: Mr. Price
Bracelets: Mr. Price
Om Necklace: Papagaya

The Day I Decided To Chop Off All Of My Hair

Two days ago, after having a seriously painful fight with my long locks and a devious hair-brush... I decided that I'd had enough.
 
As many of my regular readers know, I have been every hair colour in the book: Black to red to platinum blond, purple (an attempt gone wrong from a box with the deceiving title of burgundy,), blue (on purpose... don't ask,).
 
Due to dying my hair so much, I damaged it beyond repair. It became stringy, knotty, weak and fell out in clumps. I couldn't take it anymore.
 
 
Grabbing the pony-tail at the back and snipping it clean off was quite possibly one of the most horrifying yet liberating feelings that I have ever experienced.
 
If you are feeling daring and you are going to go for such a drastic change, just do yourself a favour and hack the pony-tail off yourself. It feels insane!! The surge of adrenalin is such a kick!
 
Once it was done, there was no going back.
My hairstylist got to work in giving me a cool style while I stared back at my reflection in the mirror in front of me, mouth gaping open.
 
Before she started to layer and feather it (giving it some texture and life) I thought I looked like a mushroom top - but once it was done I couldn't have been more thrilled.
 
I loved it!
 
 
Pros of short hair:
 
  • No more hair fall!
  • No more twenty minute wars with my brush specifically designed to detangle hair!
  • Shampoo and conditioner will last so much longer!
  • Actually, any hair products will last much longer!!!
  • It is healthy and new!
  • It grows back!!!!!!
     
 
Cons of short hair:
 
  • It brings a whole new meaning to the expression, 'Bed Head!'
  • It will take a few years to get back to the length it once was again.
As you can see, the pros completely out-weigh the cons!! And as I said, your hair will always grow back (eventually!).
 
I have always wanted long hair. I wanted to ombre my hair like Zoella's - but it was just too damaged.
 
 
 
Now I can start fresh, with hair that hasn't been bleached more times than I can count.
It will grow out healthy and strong and one day I will have long hair again.
 
My original plan was to cut it all off and then grow it back straight away... I think that has changed now.
This new look is a fashion statement.
I think I'm keeping it for a while :)
 
If you're thinking about it: DO IT!!!!
 
People Who Suit Short Hair:
 
  • Square faced people with strong jaw lines (only if you want to enhance your jaw. You have to be confident)
  • Oval faced people
  • Long chinned / jawed people
  • Round faced people (this is a bit of a contraversy. Some people hate round faced people with short hair-styles. Personally I love it. I think that Ginnifer Goodwin (Something Borrowed movie star), looks awesome!
 
Give it a go.
 
Take the plunge.
 
Live Free.
 
 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Eleven by Mark Watson - Book Review

Sometimes, a book finds you.
 
You go to a store and browse the shelves: Perhaps looking for a book by a specific author you enjoy or a book that you saw a great review on... not knowing what else could be lurking between the books you've set out to buy. 
Well, this book found me.
I picked it up completely by fluke. From the cover it wasn't something I'd normally give a second glance, (I know, I know.. you should never judge a book by its cover!) and from the back, although it sounded 'alright' I wouldn't have opted for it over the Nicholas Sparks novel I had in my other hand... but on the cover right at the top it read, 'If you loved One Day by David Nicholls, this is for you,' courtesy of Cosmopolitan. (Thanks Cosmo...)

One Day is my favorite novel to date.... so I had to get it.

The unique beauty about Eleven is the realisation that it never actually ends. 


From one simple act spirals tens of thousands of consequences that you will never even know about. 

The whole idea behind this book is so relative to how I have been feeling lately; delving into a deeper side of life. 

Everything happens for a reason and every person who comes into your life is sent as a guide from beyond; a messenger. 
Not all of those messages are good. 
A while ago I had a run in with a very difficult, miserable person. She pretty much ripped me apart, but maybe I was meant to get that wake-up call... no matter how uncalled for it was. 
Maybe there was something, somewhere in what she was saying that I needed to hear. 
Or maybe she needed to get some anger out and I was just the unlucky victim who got slayed in the process.
Maybe she went home and felt awful and learnt to not treat people that way any more.

What I am saying is that you learn something from everyone that you come across.

Every single person you meet stumbles into your life for a reason: 
The waitress that served you breakfast yesterday morning. 
The check-out girl in the super-market when you were buying the groceries. 
The bar-tender who poured you that measured out glass of much needed wine the other evening.... maybe all they or you needed was something as small as a smile. 
You never know when a gesture so small can go so far. 

That is the message that this book carries, as it tells a story about one decision that effects eleven lives that are inter-linked in even the slightest of ways.

Magical. 

I could not put it down.




Saturday, May 25, 2013

Venice


Without a doubt my favourite place visited from the whole tour, Venice took my breath away.
I visited it twice, once before my Contiki Europe trip on a little weekend getaway and then again a few weeks later with my Contiki family. 
I could not wait to get back to it!
Everything about Venice screams 'Home' to me.

I arrived in Venice, The Floating City, by boat. It was the same kind of boat used in the movie, The Tourist, starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. 



Venice is majestic. Everything is ancient, crumbling, falling apart, different coloured houses from red to off-white houses, orange houses and yellow, each with the tiniest little balconies overlooking the water and dark shutters for the windows. All the paint is chipped and old, with no signs of restoration about to take place and somehow, that is what makes it quite so beautiful. Somehow they have managed to keep Venice looking like one of the most spectacular places on Earth. 




The water shines the most gorgeous aqua green-blue as you cut through it in your Gondola or boat, colors you see on photographs and think it was photoshopped. It was just stunning. 



I stayed in an ivy covered hotel called, Hotel Flora. The most gorgeous set-up I have ever experienced. While walking through the dainty little alleyways, this building caught my eye and I could not hide my awe. Little did I know that it was where we had booked online to stay!!! There is a little garden terrace where you can have your breakfast in the mornings and even there it is adorned with greenery and beauty beyond what I could have imagined. You can sit out at tiny little white round tables and chairs and enjoy your morning coffee and pastries while watching the birds swoop around you, waiting for someone to drop a crumb of bread onto the ground for them. 





Going to Italy had been my dream for years and I had a very vivid imagination of exactly how it was going to be when I got there. 
I had a vision that I would have a heavy rucksack slung across my back, tired feet and I’d follow the alluring smells of cooking food to an open bistro, sit down and indulge in wine, pasta and gelato for the afternoon while the sun dipped behind the bridges.
Well, I played a coin game where Heads was left and Tails was right… and I tossed the coin for every corner I went down in Venice, getting hopelessly lost (thank God for iPhone!!) until I eventually found my way to the most idyllic bistro possible. 
It was in the heart of Venice, hidden in a maze of alleyways and bridges, nowhere close to the more touristy spots right by the water’s edge - and that was one of the things that was so great about it!
It was situated in a grungy, coral coloured building. The paint was chipped away and opposite the building was a little sign reading, ‘Campiello S. Zulian,’. 
Beneath the green and white shading were little wooden tables covered in red checker table clothes and yellow napkins.
It was here that I discovered the most incredible pasta imaginable. I don’t know how something so simple can be so good, but it is called Spaghetti Alio Olio Peperoncino and it is literally spaghetti, garlic, chilli and olive oil. Shave some Parmesan over the top and voila. 
I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E!!! 




Both times that I was in Venice I was blessed with the most perfect weather and so naturally I indulged in cups full of mouth-watering gelato every day. That was another dream of mine, to have real Italian ice cream; and it did not disappoint. 

Venice is absolutely covered in souvenir stores holding some of the most incredible Venetian masks I have ever seen. I learnt some really interesting facts about the masks and what each one symbolizes.


Whilst on my Contiki tour, I didn’t stay in such glamorous locations however. I camped.  
The ground in Venice was really slushy where we camped and I was one of two girls that braved the football pitch with the group of guys on tour with us. 
We were split into groups and had such good fun slipping around in the sludge and mud – it was here that one of the guys on tour, Fin, broke my toe. 
I stupidly decided to play the game without shoes and had this idea that I was the best tackler possible, but I think I got slightly too cocky and confidant and ended up walking away with a broken toe. But Fin became such a good friend to me throughout the course of the tour that all was forgiven and forgotten. When he saved my life later on in the tour, that was when I stopped giving him a hard time about it, to some degree ;) 
- but that is another story, to be told in another post about passing through Austria and going white water rafting. 

Other things I did while in Venice was go to this absolutely fascinating glass expo where we watched this traditional Venetian man make a beautiful glass horse statue in about two minutes flat, from nothing more than a RED HOT clump of glass! 
We did this in Venice as Venice is famous for its glass making - more so than any other place around Italy. 
The glass making factory we visited was situated just down an alleyway off of St. Mark's Square, so if you ever get a chance to get there just ask a local where it is and they will point you in the right direction! 

As I had been to Venice already and the Contiki group were all feeling slightly knackered from our continuous drinking sessions night in and night out.. we spent our day in Venice in this gorgeous little park with a few bottles of Prosecco. 
We lazed out in the sun, toasting to good times and bonding while catching some rays. It was such a wonderfully relaxed time.





I also finally rode a Gondola! Something that has been on my list of things to do since I can possibly remember. 
It wasn't exactly romantic - I was on a boat with five other guys from my Contiki group but they were such fun! We opened two bottles of Torre and played Mozart from YouTube on my iPhone until our Gondola 'driver' started singing for us! What a show. 
We stumbled off of the gondola half an hour later feeling extremely merry before heading back to the campsite, swarming with the most ginormous mosquito's I have ever seen! 



I could talk to you about Venice all day long. It holds such a special place in my heart now... I actually fear I left a large chunk of my heart back there. 

It is such a happy, vibrant place. The locals are incredibly helpful and welcoming. The pasta is to die for. The smells are amazing, besides walking down some of the alleyways that reek of fish and sewage but in a way that only adds to the effect of the place!! It didn't bother me in the slightest. In fact, it only made me like it even more. 

I would move there tomorrow - if you have not been, please do yourself a favor and book a ticket today!! 


Next up... Paris. 


I'm baaaaaaack!!!


I am finally back in the Bloggersphere – and I truly do not know where to even begin! 

I got some advice about my blog and had a lot of time to think about it while I was away, travelling Europe. 
I was told that I should start to focus my blog on one of my areas I write in specifically, such as my movie reviews or my recipes for example. 
I can’t help it though - I have so much I want to share with the world and show people from the most non self-obsessed way possible. 
I get so excited to share experiences and tastes, smells, places, photographs and all the wonders of the world with the people that read my blog that choosing to focus on one thing in specific would pretty much make me start to detest my blog! Plus I would be blogging a lot less than I was before. 

Therefore, my blog has been undergoing a slight revamp lately. 

You’ll see right at the top there are pages to choose from; so if you would prefer to find one of my recipes than read about my personal thoughts and travel experiences, just click ‘Recipes’ above! 
To those bookworms out there, I’ve got a page up for my book reviews… and yes I am aware they are very few and far between right now, it’s a new thing that I have started up but I am reading manically away and jotting down notes left, right and centre to share my thoughts and views on certain novels with you all soon! The next up and coming review is on a novel called Eleven by Mark Watson. Fantastic book! That is all I am giving away for now!

I also have a fashion page… we can all take a pause here while you all have a little laugh and chuckle. 
Yes, I am aware I do not have the world’s most fetching fashion sense. I’m a little bit of everything, from hippy to chic (or an attempt at chic anyway,). 
I can dress indie and retro and glam… it all depends on my mood really. That explains why I have about sixteen black bags of unopened clothes still crammed away as well as two exploding cupboards, one cupboard purely dedicated to my shoe collection…. It’s getting to the point where I think I need an intervention.  

Anyway… so there is a bit of everything, for everyone and that is how I like it. 

Everything can be found on the homepage in order of my writing it, everything else is categorized into pages at the top of my homepage. It's pretty self explanatory.
 
The next few posts I do will be purely travel related, so I hope you enjoy them and if you have any stories about your experiences in the same places or questions about any of the countries please just pop me an email or a comment under the post and I will respond to each and every one of you as soon as I possibly can!

On that note... enjoy the weekend and happy blogging!



I'm baaaaaaaaaack!!!!