Saying goodbye to my 20s

Yes, I know, I haven’t quite said goodbye to my 20s yet but I’m a mere week away from turning 30 now! Even as I write that, I feel a little anxious flutter at my core and what I can only describe as nervous anticipation. I think I’m going to do well at being in my 30s but I’m also terrified in case I spend the next decade making the same mistakes again.



Me, in my 30s. That’s a grown up age. Lots of people in their 30s are married with kids and the idea of doing those sorts of things is still TERRIFYING! If I think too much about the fact that I’ve just bought a house and have a dog I freak out, never mind actual lifetime commitments.

Anyway, the real purpose of this stream of consciousness spiel is to reflect on my 20s because I think it’s a difficult decade to get through. Some people sail through it and love it and the rest of us look on, wondering why our lives are a pile of poo by comparison. So if that’s you doing the wondering, don’t worry about it because I’m about to explain why that’s a good thing.

If I look at my 20s as a whole, there are just 3 main themes to the journey I took and the lessons I learned and the ratio isn’t great, 2 bad : 1 good. Here we go…

Theme 1 – Depression

I still can’t really admit that I have ever been depressed because my background tells me that depression leads to suicide, which leads to other depressed people and I refuse to accept that. What I can admit is that I spent months following this routine:

Wake up – cry – stare at the wall – go to work – hold back the tears – come home – cry – stare at the wall – cry – go to bed

I can also admit that when I managed to stop the staring at the wall behaviour, I still spent an inordinate amount of time crying. The reasons for the tears were varied, but in reality I had a huge sadness inside me that I couldn’t confront and it was ruling my life. This sadness sapped my confidence and stopped me doing and achieving as much as I wanted to but I realise now that it was a process I had to go through. It sounds so cliché to say this but I know now that it really doesn’t last forever, as long as you’re prepared to let the good stuff in.

So, if that’s you right now, let it happen. Sometimes the only way you can move on is to fully embrace the problem, let it flood your mind and then mop up the puddles slowly but surely.

Theme 2 – Debt

During those depressed years I racked up a heck of a lot of debt. Tens of thousands of pounds spent on utter shit that I didn’t need but which I thought might change my life and make me happy. A small portion of the debt was spent on fun, but it really was mainly on junk, oh and some bad car choices. (Never buy a used Corsa VXR!)

That level of debt when you’re on a relatively low salary is crippling, so what I did was bury my head in the sand and keep going. I’m hugely fortunate that I was dug out of the hole by a very generous inheritance, else I would still be in that hole now. It was a good lesson though and I’m glad I learned it at a young age. If you’re struggling with a similar situation, please seek help; just Google it and you’ll find places you can turn to for support.

I sound like an old person now, namely my father, when I say that money really isn’t everything and the stuff you think you need, it won’t make you happy. You’ll have the moment of joy looking at those new shoes but you’ll spend far longer worrying about how you’re going to pay off the cumulative sum of 10 new pairs!

Theme 3 – Good Times

Here’s where the biggest lesson lies for me…the good times are there, they are happening no matter what your situation is, it’s just up to you to decide whether or not you want to be part of them. I feel such gratitude toward all of the people who kept dragging me into the good times and showing me what I was missing. The people I feel this most strongly about are my parents who have been through some really tough times themselves in this last decade, but who remained strong enough to pick me up every time I fell, cuddle me and then invite me to start enjoying life again. Without them, I’d probably be rocking back and forward in the foetal position on my bed right now!

I’ve achieved some stuff too and I’ve managed to build up something of a career, even with a couple of redundancies along the way. I’ve just climbed onto the property ladder, I own my car outright (even if it is 12 years old),I have a beautiful dog, a wonderful boy and many friends. I’ve been on girly holidays, I’ve read loads of books, been out for unbelievably delicious dinners at lovely restaurants and generally smiled and laughed loads, all despite themes 1 and 2.

A huge number of the good times have been in the last 3 years, exactly coinciding with the time that I realised that I can’t find my own happiness in other people, it has to come from within. I can’t tell you how many times people said that to me and I poo-pooed their advice, thinking that I was sorted and other people were making me miserable. I was wrong. I was miserable and as soon as I fixed my own misery, my life transformed and I flipped the ratios:

Happy Days : Blue Days – Sam until age 27
1 : 10

Happy Days : Blue Days – Sam post age 27
10 : 1

Well, I think I have rambled on long enough now so I’ll leave this post where it is. Watch out for some interesting changes to the blog; I can’t be a 20something freak forever :-)

30s – I’m comin’ to getcha!!! x

Friday Lust

It’s back…I actually have 30 seconds when I’m not exhausted and I’m able to pull together a quick blog post. I’ve only gone and produced a Friday Lust post!!!

Check these absolute beauties out:

Moda in Pelle Tavani Boots, £189.95 - HoF or Moda in Pelle

Moda in Pelle Tavani Boots, £189.95 – HoF or Moda in Pelle

You might not love leopard as much as I do, but to me those boots are heavenly. They’re leopard, they’re furry and the heel is low enough that you could actually walk in them. WIN!

What’s also a win is that while these would have been totally out of my league a couple of years ago, I might just be able to afford them. Love, love, love!

Happy pay-day shopping weekend everyone. Oh, and obviously there’s that Halloween stuff happening tomorrow too :-) x

60 today

Well, that was a shock. Obviously I know it’s your birthday, I don’t think I will ever forget that, but this year I thought I’d leave the blog post out. I see so many posts on social media where people talk to or about the dearly departed who can’t even read what they’re writing and I’m very conscious of the fact that once a year, (twice if you count what happens in 10 days) I become that person.

And I am that person again right now.

The thing is though, it just hit me that you would have been 60 today. Bloody well 60! Firstly, that shocks the life out of me because I still associate being 60 with people who are the generation above you and secondly because you’re 30-and-a-bit years older than me. If you’re now 60, I’ll soon be 30. If I’m nearly 30, I’m almost the age you were when I was born. All of this is messing with my head. How has that happened?

If I’m brutally honest, I think I wrote this post mainly to express my disgust at how old we’ve become; I probably should wish you many happy returns but you can’t hear me so I’ll stick with the disgust. I would also like to ask why it is that I’ve morphed into you in the last year. Did that happen to you too? Did you suddenly scale up from a size 8 to a size 12 when you were in your late 20s? I know you were a 12 but you told me you used to be a 8. When did that change? Is it reversible? 

Anyway, I diverge. What I should have said is Happy Birthday. What I still mean is: fuck me, you’d be 60 if you were here!

Love you always xxx

What being a dog mummy has taught me…

My beautiful Lexi

My beautiful Lexi

In January of this year, the bf and I took the HUGE step of adopting a pooch of our very own. We found our little Lexi online as her family were splitting up so she needed a new home. The instant he saw a photo, the bf knew she was the one; he kept coming back to her profile over and over again until he finally took the step of making contact with her family.

As soon as we met her, I was also convinced; she was shy, her tail didn’t wag but she still climbed straight onto our laps for cuddles and had the most beautiful face I’ve ever seen. Her eyes were and still are full of hope, trust and optimism; she really couldn’t have sold herself to us any better than she did. So we said we’d give her a new home and we haven’t looked back since.

When our baby girl first arrived home, she was understandably nervous, very clingy and couldn’t relax enough to fall asleep for any decent period of time. When we took her for walks, she’d stick to us like glue, unsure of what to do as if we might punish her. When we let her into the garden for toilet time she’d tremble like mad and refuse to go out there unless we both went out with her and proved that we weren’t going to lock her outside. It was difficult to watch and all we could do was give her love and time and hope that she’d settle in, luckily she did that just fine :-)

Then she attacked a dog.

We thought it was a one-off and she’d been provoked. Then she did it again and then attempted it many more times; no real damage to the dogs but enough aggression to know she couldn’t be trusted with other dogs. It petrified me and I freaked out, I thought we’d made a mistake and that we couldn’t possibly handle looking after a dog like that. But we had to, we’d promised her we’d look after her and that meant we bloody well would. The bf, being much stronger and more mature than me just told me to stop being so dramatic and that we’d deal with it one way or another and we have.

These days, we walk Lexi on the lead – always. We don’t let her get near other dogs unless she has her muzzle on and we’re good at spotting which dogs are riling her up before she has a chance to get fully into that frame of mind. It’s not a perfect solution and we want to get beyond this, to the point where she ignores other dogs but it’s a good start and it means we can take her out in public with safety. It’s the opposite of what I wanted though, I wanted to have that dog that I could trust to trot along by my side with no problems at all. I wanted that perfection that the media shows you dog ownership should be but I was being stupid.

As I sit here writing this, Lexi is curled up with her head on my lap, snoozing soundly because she knows she’s safe and that I’ve got her back so she doesn’t need to stay alert. Every time I look at her face I smile and I feel a warm swell of pride at my core, because this loving beauty is ours and we’ve given her a home that’s allowed her to relax with us and do crazy things like go in the garden on her own. In return, she makes us laugh and smile every single day; even when we were on holiday without her, we spoke about her and her crazy facial expressions constantly and that made us giggle like children. When I was ill, she was my nurse laying by my side almost constantly for 3 solid days so I didn’t feel alone. Every time one of us comes into the house or down the stairs, she greets us with utter joy and excitement that makes us feel incredibly loved and wanted. She gives us everything and in return all she asks for is cuddles, (lots of cuddles) some food and some walks. What an absolute babe!

So, what have I learned from having Lexi? I’ve learned loads; I’ve learned that happiness really doesn’t cost the earth, I’ve learned that real achievements are about the relationships you build, not the things you buy. My ideas of what perfection would be are not always right, sometimes you find that what you were looking for is not what you really wanted. Compromise isn’t always a bad thing; my dog doesn’t trot by my side with no problems but she is more cuddly than any other dog I’ve met and she’s never once woken me in the night. That’s not bad as trade offs go! Biggest of all though, I’ve learned that I do have that “maternal” instinct that enables me to consider the needs of others above my own and love unconditionally. There’s not a thing that Lexi could do that would stop me loving her, she’s incredible and genuinely has a heart of gold.

Having Lexi has been a real awakening; she’s shaken up my life and I can’t thank her enough for it. Here’s to all the gorgeous souls in this world helping people like me every day! x

Friday Lust!

Well hello there, it’s that time of the week again…it’s FRIDAY!

You’ll notice a strong commonality between this and my previous Friday Lust post; they’re both red. I love red at the best of times but I always become especially obsessed around the beginning of the AW season when the berry tones start coming back in.

This for me represents the ultimate in simple but statement elegance and I wish I had a party that would justify the purchase!

Reiss Jasmine Dress, £245

Reiss Jasmine Dress, £245

It’s just that little bit too expensive to buy on a whim but if I reach a weight loss goal I have set myself, I’ll buy it then if it’s still available in my size. Now there’s an incentive to skinny on down!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone :-) x

Review – Avon Ideal Flawless Foundation, Ivory

Avon Ideal Flawless Cream to Powder Foundation, £12

Avon Ideal Flawless Cream to Powder Foundation, £12

It’s been a looooooooong time since I wrote a product review but I’ve recently bought a whole heap of new beauty products so I’ll try my best to get through a few reviews, though I do often break my blog-promises (sorry!).

I’m not really sure what possessed me to try out a new foundation because I’m actually perfectly happy with what I already have but I found myself ordering it because it was pretty cheap and had some great reviews. I’m not usually an Avon customer but I fancied trying something completely different so I threw caution to the wind and here I am now!

The product I’m reviewing is Avon’s Ideal Flawless Foundation in the Ivory shade. I was a bit worried about the colour as many reviews say that the colours come up quite dark and I have to say I agree. I wouldn’t call this shade ivory at all, more like orange (it’s much darker than the picture shows). Much like I wouldn’t call this a medium to full coverage foundation, more of a barely there finish – which is how I got away with wearing orange foundation all day! I’ve tried to take photos of me wearing it but it just looks like my naked skin, all of my pores are visible, the unevenness of my skin tone punches you in the face and the dark circles under my eyes are enhanced by the dark, dull colour of the foundation (see below image).

My pore-filled face with this foundation on

My pore-filled face with this foundation on

It has a strange consistency when it goes on; I found the whole cream-to-powder thing really means it glides on but then feels like it’s drying your face out as it dries. It also doesn’t absorb any oil; by 2pm I had a full-on oil slick for a nose which, I must say, isn’t my favourite look. 

Even the packaging failed to excite me; the box is a cheap plastic black thing and the sponge is totally the wrong shape for trying to apply foundation to a whole face, it’s more of a powder your nose sponge. I really wanted to like this product but it just does nothing for me. If you have great skin and just like to wear make-up then it might work well but if you have imperfections like I do, it actually enhances them rather than concealing them. This is not the one for me; sorry Avon. 

The Fear

This weekend just gone, I was sat happily watching a film when something hit me like a tonne of bricks; I’m scared of change. Let me explain further…

I spent the first ~27 years of my life terrified that nothing would ever change, that I would always be miserable, that I would always want to wake up and be someone else or not bother waking up at all. Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t suicidal and I certainly didn’t present myself as somebody who was so blue to the outside world. In fact, many people thought I was a happy person during that time and for many milliseconds dispersed throughout each day, I was. The problem I had was that for every millisecond of happiness, I had another when I realised nothing had changed. 

I could never live in the moment and I never appreciated all of the wonderful things about my life because at my very core, I was unhappy, I was discontent and I was very, very unsettled. The obvious solution to this problem would have been to change things, shake up my life until it suited my needs but I couldn’t because I didn’t know what needed to change and I was scared of making things worse. On and on this went, year after year until it just vanished without me even realising it.

This weekend, I was watching The Theory of Everything, the film about Stephen Hawking and because I was on my own, I allowed myself to feel the emotion of the film. (Usually this is a no go because I HATE crying in front of other people so I tend not to risk it.) As I was watching, I realised that the reason it was upsetting me was because I could empathise; for once I could feel the heart wrenching fear that something wonderful was about to change and it was out of everybody’s control. That was the moment. That was when I realised that I have the same fear; I am scared of significant change in my life which isn’t affected my me because I’m there. I’m bloody well happy with what I have, I’m content and I’m settled and it happened without me even noticing.

Somehow, somewhere, the discontent and the feeling of being unsettled just upped and left me. They’ve been replaced by much less aggressive feelings that just bubble away under the surface, giving me a reason to get up in the morning and a feeling of real happiness that keeps me grounded when things get tough. So, if you’re in that bleak place that I used to be, don’t give up, things can and will change, you just need to give it time. When you stop looking for the happiness, it will find you x

Friday Lust

It’s back! Friday Lust is here again and it’s here because there’s something I’m coveting which I really can’t afford but I want to look at it over and over again nonetheless.

Here is the item of beauty I am talking about:

Look at its beauty, it’s bright, bold, unashamed red; the wonderfully soft leather; the crisp silver zips. I’m in love! I love leather jackets anyway and this year I’ve decided that I’ll buy myself a red one as that’s what’s missing from my collection but now I’ve seen this beauty, nothing else will do and I just don’t have that kinda money sitting in the bank right now.

Bring on the AW fashion; my favourite time of the year! Happy Friday everyone x

The Best Thing About Holidays

This last week I’ve been lucky enough to be enjoying the first of two summer holidays I have this year. I’ll write another post about what I’ve been up to in Greece later but for now, I just want to focus on the real reason I believe everyone should escape their day to day lives at least once a year and that’s liberation.

Liberation from the things that usually stress you out which don’t matter on holiday. Here’s what I mean…

Schinias Beach, Greece

Schinias Beach, Greece

This is where I am right now and where I was yesterday too. I’m here with the bf, we haven’t showered in 2 days, my hair is still as it was when I slept in it, we threw clothes on over our swimmers and ate dinner on the beach yesterday and we are being utterly trampy. It couldn’t be more fun! 

We are liberated from the usual bothers about how we look, what we’re wearing, what the time is, etc. Our minds are focussed on crosswords, swimming in the waves and cold beers. No need for appearances here, we have substance, fun and life behind the eyes. 

I’ve regained a sense of perspective and that is what I think really comes from stepping away from the mundanity of everyday life for a little while. If you’ve not got a break planned, I’d highly recommend it as you might surprise yourself by learning just what you really care about. X 

A Tale of Two Wardrobes

There’s something been bugging me recently and it’s taken me a while to figure it out. I’ve noticed that I’m pretty much out of wardrobe space, yet I have nothing to wear and I don’t mean the usual nothing to wear, I mean literally nothing. First of all, I thought it was the change in seasons, “I’ll be too hot in that”, “That’s too summery for today”, etc. but now that it’s fully summer and I’ve re-opened my summer stock of clothes, I’m still stuck.

So what is it?

Well, this evening I went to put some laundry away and noticed that once again there’s no space for it, despite the fact that I only do laundry when I’m out of things to wear. So I started mooching through my clothes, figuring I must have loads of old tat hanging around that needs to be gone. I don’t.

What I have is a tale of two wardrobes. Fat Sam vs. Thin Sam.

This is the first time in my adult life that I’ve encountered this problem and that’s why it’s taken me so long to figure out. For a good 15 or so years, I was a size 10, occasionally dipping into an 8. Suddenly I’m a size 12 and my old clothes don’t fit. Like actually can’t get them on or do them up don’t fit. My metabolism is failing me and my willpower is like an under-used muscle, (which all of mine are) and it hurts every time I try and use it!

I’ve bloody well gone up a clothes size and I’m not even 30 yet. Shit the bloody bed.

Never even mind the weight, my main concern is the clothing. What does one do in this situation, admit defeat and donate the smaller sized clothes to charity or kid oneself that weight loss is imminent and those clothes will be essential at that time? I’ve never had to lose weight before and I genuinely don’t know whether I can do it. I’ve done it by accident before but that was 6 years ago and not a pound has been shed since. In fact, I’ve been slowly gaining many pounds over that entire time.

This is a genuine dilemma; I need fewer clothes in my life as there’s no chance of increasing wardrobe capacity right now, but do I vote fat or thin? Delicious food or hideous exercise? Most likely, I’ll bury my head in the sand, hope for a weight loss miracle (raspberry ketones already on order) and keep adding to my collection of clothing until I can no longer fit in my dressing room. (Because of the vast array of clothing, not because I got that fat…though I won’t rule that out either.)

What would a sane person do? Help a girl out, peeps! x