Where to Eat (Budget Friendly) – Reading

I’m going to make a confession now…I am one of those people who always wants to go somewhere different and try something new but when it comes to my home town I seem to be a creature of habit.

For months, probably years, every time I have walked up a certain end of town, (usually to the theatre) I have wondered what the Thai restaurant, Thai 9 is actually like. Yet I have done nothing about it. Last Friday that changed when I was invited out for a friend of the other half’s, girlfriend’s b’day. (Yes, essentially I was invited just because they’re nice people, not because they know me!)

As you can see from the website, it’s not necessarily the classiest place and when in a large group, your table will be split and the food will come out at strange times but it was bloomin’ good value. We went for the all you can eat option which could have included sushi had anyone wanted it and it was only around £15 a head; drinks weren’t that pricey either.

The food was a bit greasy but then what would you expect for the money? There was a great selection on the menu and as far as I am aware, everything tasted good and nobody had any sour after effects.

This is a great little restaurant for cheap eats, especially for a group night out so I highly recommend giving it a bash when you’re on a budget. Be sure to book though as it’s quite small! The only thing to be wary of is that whilst it may be funny to watch some of the less productive members of society as they go past the window, you might not want to leave on your own late at night.

I’m heading to Oxford for Tapas this weekend so expect another foodie review soon! x

Spring Has Sprung!

What a glorious weekend we just had here in the UK! It has well and truly got me in the mood for Spring and all of the bright colours and sunshine that come with it.

On Saturday the bf and I helped some friends out at an exhibition at the ExCel in London and as we were practically on its doorstep, I decided that would be a good time to finally get round to visiting the Stratford City Westfield.

We were really lucky actually, we went in the afternoon and it wasn’t too busy, had a great mooch around and then left a little bit poorer and had some dinner at Wahaca. One of the reasons I left a little bit poorer is this fabulous jacket:

Check out the blooms on this bad boy!

This little number is one of Primark’s latest limited collection (which means almost nobody in Reading will have it) and only set me back in the region of £25. I love it! The bf looked a little bit shocked when I honed straight in on it and said I must have it but really and truly, I had to have it! Bold floral prints are one of the key trends for S/S and this is me down to a tee. Love, love, love!

As soon as I wear it, I’ll pop another post up and you can make your minds up then…I fear it’s going to be a bit like Marmite! x

For Someone Special

Every now and again I decide that I should be some sort of abstract modern artist with poetry as my medium. Just like you see the splashes and tears on a page in the Tate Modern which are supposedly better than any non “artist” could do, so you also see words thrown onto a page, AKA poetry. So here is one of mine…love, laugh or hate it, if it makes you feel anything at all then I’ll be happy! x

I couldn’t imagine,
Not even begin to see…
Determined old me.
One and alone,
Proving it all
Wrong again


There you stood,
Here you stand,
Ruling my land.
My prop, my anchor,
Found again,
Thank you.

Learning to Appreciate the Simple Things

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this but most of the people in the Western world seem to go about their lives in an almost perpetual state of misery. We have machines and gadgets galore to make our lives easier, most of us have more than enough money to live comfortably and yet we are unhappy. Take a trip to less developed parts of the world and you find people growing their own food and living in shacks who are far happier and healthier than we could even imagine being.

It was actually my parents’ dog who got me thinking about this. Whilst on a long walk with my dad and said dog, I couldn’t help but wonder how it is that the dog is so happy yet I am from the same family and spend most of my time feeling so unhappy. Then it hit me, it  really is about appreciating the simple things. The dog is happy because he is loved, fed, walked and gets lots of attention; he doesn’t care when his fur gets muddy as he splashes through a puddle, because it’s fun. He also doesn’t care whether my parents live in a cardboard box or a mansion, so long as they take him along for the ride. So why do I care?

I know a lot of it is about social conditioning but really, I’m an intelligent girl, I should be able to make my own decisions about what makes me happy! I’m not going to lie, new clothes and make-up do make me superficially happy and will continue to do so but I’m talking about what’s at the core. I don’t have to work any particular job just because I “should” and I don’t have to strive for an expensive car if all I want to do is travel the world. Essentially, I think that most of the Western world are unhappy because we have so much choice, we don’t know how to choose so we just do what we think other people expect us to do. What we need is to appreciate the simple things that keep us running day to day and start making decisions that make us happy to build up the layer above that.

Yes, I really am this cute and happy all the time!

 So here’s what I propose I do…I’m going to make a list, (my bf is happy all the time and lives by lists) and really work out which of the decisions I currently live by are making me happy and which are decisions I made “just because”. Then I’m going to work out what I can do to fix those in the latter category and spend the remainder of 2012 working towards making those changes. By the end of this year, I am to be one happy soul. I’ll let you know what I come up with and if you fancy joining me, I’d love to hear what you come up with 🙂 x

How Not to Live for the Weekend

A few weeks ago I realised I had well and truly got myself into the rut of living for the weekend, complete with hideous Sunday night feeling of dread and disturbed sleep. Now, given that one of my most annoying neuroses is my constant panic that whatever I am doing, I might be missing out on something better, this was really not a good situation for me! So I began to think about what I could do to solve this, taking into consideration the fact that my poor digestive health means that I spend my week-nights bloated to the hilt and feeling very tired.

I decided that attack was the best form of…well, attack, really! I have bought several Groupon type vouchers and now have exercise classes coming out of my ears. The best thing is that a bunch of my good friends have also bought the same vouchers so I am beating the blues by seeing my friends and holding 2 fingers up at my digestive system and getting active! Not only this, but I am also trying to plan more random things such as cinema visits, etc. midweek as well. For example: last week, Pole Fitness Monday, girly night Tuesday, night in Wednesday, out for drinks with a friend Thursday…boom, it’s the weekend!

Hopefully you can tell this isn't me...

If you suffer from the common syndrome of “work sucks and I hate 9-5 in the office-itis” then you might want to try my technique. I cannot tell you how much quicker the last 2 Mondays have flown by knowing I will have fun getting fit and seeing my mates in the evening.

So there you have it…the answer was so simple I missed it for ages. All I had to do was stop living for the weekend and use the good 4 or 5 hours I have in the evening to do the things I wish I could do for the 9 hours a day I’m at work. Sermon over. x

Happy Valentine’s Day to Me!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Whilst I’m not a huge one for buying into the heart shaped everything and sudden pretence that dead relationships are amazing, I do love a good celebration so I hope you’re all having a good day. Personally, I think Valentine’s day is more fun for singletons than couples as they tend to make more effort than most couples; though that is a complete assumption as I haven’t been single on Valentine’s day for 12 years…I’m only 26! Believe me though, that is not bragging, I should definitely have been single for a few of those years, I’ve stayed in some beyond dead relationships for far too long!

However, I am currently in a relationship which is very much alive and we are having a super low key Valentine’s so I thought I’d buy us both a treat in the form of new underwear for me…yes, I am that selfish! So here is what I bought:

Boux Avenue, Tori

This is just the sort of thing I like, sexy without being tacky, though I must say I don’t look quite as amazing in mine as the model does here! This set was my first foray into the world of Boux Avenue and I’ve been very impressed. I ordered my lovely new undies on the weekend and they were delivered on Monday which is brilliant.

However, what I really love is the fit. If you are a regular reader, by now you have probably seen from my pictures and figured from previous posts that I am not exactly a busty lady…quite the opposite! This means that often I wear pretty extreme padded bras, La Senza triple gel style and they’re not that comfy but most other bras just don’t do my assets any favours. If you are the same, buy this bra! It’s not heavily padded, it just fits really well and gives you a lovely shape whilst being super comfy. I am in love! So this is my new obsession and I can’t wait until the next pay day so I can replace more of my undies with Boux Avenue beauties.

Now I have raved about my underwear, have yourselves a safe and sexy Valentine’s day and if you have any tips on where to get great undies, especially if you are larger of chest, then do let me know…I have a friend who’d love hear from you! x

My First Beauty Box

In the world of beauty bloggers, I am way behind the curve in that I have only had my first beauty box delivered this month but I’m not sure how many of you out there in the wider world actually know what a beauty box is. Beauty boxes have suddenly shot up on the radar,  Groupon style and they are essentially like Graze boxes except the come monthly and they have a random selection of treat sized beauty products in them.

I first heard about beauty boxes from Rebecca of the fabulous Be Beautiful blog, when she did a post about Glossy Box. I was intrigued and decided to sign myself up. However, when I Googled “beauty box”, I found a whole host of them out there and ended up subscribing to the Feel Unique beauty box. My reasoning behind this is that they sell full size versions of all the products they put in the boxes so I figured it would be easy to buy them if I wanted them. This is what arrived in the post last week:

The Box Itself
The Contents

Essentially what we have inside the stylish box is:

  • Elemis Lime and Ginger Body Wash
  • Nuxe dry oil
  • Decleor Phytopeel
  • Philip Kingsley maximiser (hair)
  • Leighton Denny silver nail polish
  • JPG Kokorico fragrance sample

It’s a pretty good selection of products but I haven’t used any of them yet as I just don’t find them that exciting; the box is much better than the contents in my opinion. If you check out the Be Beautiful blog, you will see that they got far more exciting and young looking products in the Glossy Box and more of them are full size as well so I am jealous!

I don’t know what anyone else’s experiences of beauty boxes are but I’d say definitely check out past boxes before you buy or you won’t get the best for you! I’ve already cancelled my subscription and Glossy Box will be getting my business very soon 🙂 x

Beach Babe or Hedgerow Disaster?

One look I have loved for years is the beach wave, messy, just got out of bed hair style. However, whilst some may say I am blessed, I of course think I am cursed, with poker straight hair. Oh, and it’s really fine and bleached which makes it extra fine so it completely lacks bounce – not ideal for this look!

As my hair is so fine, I tend not to use heat based styling tools to much as it just dries out the ends too much, not to mention the fact that curler produced curls are totally different to beach waves! For ages I pondered how I could get something resembling beach waves and then one day my brain kicked in and I Googled it. What I found was a whole array of helpful videos on YouTube telling me how to style my wet hair so it would dry “beachy”.

This is the result:

Beach Hair???

I’ve put a huge picture in so you can properly see what I’m working with here. Now, I must confess I’ve worn this look quite a few times now but each time I wonder if it looks at all beachy or if I just look like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards.

What do you guys think and anyone got any ideas how I can make my waves a bit bigger and bouncier without getting hair extensions which I can’t afford???  Seriously, hit me up with your honest opinions 🙂 x

Early Season Must Have Shoes

February can be an awkward time for shopping; our finances finally start to regain some balance after the blowout festive season so we want to treat ourselves to something new after making it through January, however the shops are slap bang between seasons. If you take a walk down your local high street today, you’ll probably find a lot of shops midway through clearing out the sale stock in preparation for the new season and a few rails of new season stock they’ve already put out.

Yesterday, for example, a Saturday shopping day in Reading, I saw Debenhams moving rails around with whole areas of almost empty space, New Look completely moving their shoe department around with vast empty spaces, Schuh completely closed for refurb. and that’s just a few. So where do you go to buy your treat and how do you know it’s going to last you through the S/S season? Look online! Many retailers have a much wider selection of the new season stock online already so I thought I’d share with you some fabulous, budget friendly shoes that I’ve found which are bang on trend for next season.

New Season Must Have Shoes

1. These are my absolute favourites, love, love, love! If my feet weren’t so crazy narrow I would order them today. These babies are from Dune and come in at £99.00, also in a blue/green colourway. I know they’re a bit pricey but they are so amazing, it’s definitely worth the stretch! 

2. Metallics on the feet are huge for S/S and given the our summers in the UK tend not to be the warmest ever, I thought what better than a peep toe shoe boot!?! You’ll find these at River Island for £70.00.

3. Another River Island wonder, these beauties are working the colour clashing trend which is already all over the high street, this summer is about statement shoes and that they are. At just £40.00 you can’t go wrong!

4. The classic court, a wardrobe staple all year round. This summer we should be channelling our inner Carrie Bradshaw and working this elegant pointed style. Get yours at Zara for £39.99.

5. More of the colour clashing trend but I had to include these as they are so purse friendly and totally summery in their sandal style. Grab them in New Look for £19.99.

6. There’s a reason New Look has won awards for their shoes, these platform courts are rocking the brightly coloured floral print that is about to be all over shoes and feet near you! These also come in a slightly darker colourway, more blue / purple if that’s more your style but they’re both selling out quick so grab yours now for just £27.99.

Hopefully that’s provided you with some shoe-spiration…happy shopping! x