16 January 2018

Bright Faux Fur Coats To Ignore The Winter In

If there's one way to try and ignore the winter and the grey gloom of January, then it's by trying to defy it by wearing bright and obnoxious coats. 

This is definitely a new thing for me, as a great lover of dark colours and black, but wearing something bright definitely lifts my spirits and I like to think of it as sending a message out to the universe: please bring me warmer weather and spring.

Ok, ok it may be faux fur, which screams winter, but at least the colour is bright! That is the most important part.

There is also much to be said for the 'cuddly' side of these coats, they keep you 100% warm and so what's not to love? I've popped some of my favourite winter-defying coats below!

Winter-defying coats


14 January 2018

5 Books To Get You Through January

I hear you, it's going to take way more than five books to get you through January. But honestly, with books like the five I'm about to list, you can check right out of your life for a little while and literally, laugh out loud. January is one seriously gloomy month; the sky is grey, people are miserable and there's barely a bean of humour to be found. 

Now, courtesy of saying a fairly big, fat adios to time spent wasting time on social media lately, I'm logging in so much less these days and honestly, it's the most refreshing thing I've done in years. It's also amazing how much extra time you find yourself with when you quit the mindless scrolling through your Twitter & Facebook feeds. But this is a story for another blog post. My point? Well lately I've spent even more time reading than normal and I can 100% swear on one thing to get you through a gloomy January; curling up with a book (with endless tea and chocolate of course). 

SO here are my top laugh-out-loud reads for you...

Unsticky - Sarra Manning

This book is honestly one of my favourite ever reads (I think I must have read it about five or six times?) It's literally one of those books you cannot put down. If you love fashion, art and romance (all from a very self-deprecating and real angle from the heroine) and with (of course) a splash of romance, then trust me this is the book to escape into this month. Plenty of glamour, plenty of humour and a must-read.

The Official Blurb

Money makes the world go round - that's what twenty-something Grace Reeves is learning. Stuck in a grind where everyone's ahead apart from her, she's partied out, disillusioned, and massively in debt. If she's dumped by another rock-band wannabe, squashed by anyone else at her cut-throat fashion job, or chased by any more bailiffs, Grace suspects she'll fall apart...So when older, sexy and above all, wealthy art-dealer Vaughn appears, she's intrigued against her will. Could she handle being a sugar daddy's arm candy? Soon Grace is thrown into a world of money and privilege, at Vaughn's beck and call in return for thousands of pounds in luxurious gifts, priceless clothes - and cash. Where's the link between acting the trophy girlfriend, and selling yourself for money?And more importantly: whatever happened to love?

The List - Joanna Bolouri

If you want some serious laughs and naughty humour, this is another book I think I devoured in less than two days (I'd have got through it sooner if I hadn't had to go to work). Our heroine decides to throw caution to the wind in this book and embark on a, well, series of somewhat steamy challenges. With a Bridget Jones feel to it, if you need some light-hearted reading and dash of humour with romance, you've got to read this book!

The Official Blurb

Phoebe Henderson may be single but she sure doesn't feel fabulous. Faced with a new year but no new love, Phoebe concocts a different kind of resolution: The List. Ten things she's always wanted to do in bed but has never had the chance (or the courage!) to try. A bucket list for between the sheets. One year of pleasure, no strings attached. Simple, right? Factor in meddlesome colleagues, friends with benefits, getting frisky al fresco and maybe, possibly, true love and Phoebe's got her work cut out for her.A hysterically funny read, the naughtiest rom com you will read this year! Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and Bridget Jones.

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year - Joanna Bolouri

Ok so this book is one for those who aren't quite ready to let go of the Christmas-themed reading just yet. I personally see no issue with jamming in just a few more Xmassy books in January (and have been known to read festive books as early as September...) But anyway. It may be set in the lead up to Christmas but this is a another fabulously well-written and hilarious read from Joanna Bolouri, with another very loveable heroine, laugh-out-loud exploits from a crazy family and epic love story. It'll leave you feeling warm and happy and get you laughing in the first few pages.

The Official Blurb 

Emily is so glad that she lives far away from her judgemental, interfering family - 411 miles away to be exact! But with plans afoot for them to meet her boyfriend, Robert, she has to psyche herself up for meeting to take place. So when the relationship suddenly falls apart, Emily is frustrated, especially as she's talked up her handsome, loving boyfriend. Enter Evan: her twenty-something neighbour, with his penchant for flirting, loud music and even louder sex. She can make this work. Or can she??

You Don't Have To Say You Love Me - Sara Manning

Another Sarra Manning novel (but she just writes so wonderfully). This book will draw you right in as you join Neve Slater as she battles with her weight and her heart and a brand new, unexpected romance. This is another book that I've read numerous time and it really is heart-warming and heartening and funny all at the same time - you NEED to read it. It's all about letting go and that's just what we all need a dose of in January I think.

The Official Blurb 

Sweet, bookish Neve Slater always plays by the rules. And the number one rule is that good-natured fat girls like her don't get guys like gorgeous, handsome William, heir to Neve's heart since university. But William's been in LA for three years, and Neve's been slimming down and re-inventing herself so that when he returns, he'll fall head over heels in love with the new, improved her.So she's not that interested in other men. Until her sister Celia points out that if Neve wants William to think she's an experienced love-goddess and not the fumbling, awkward girl he left behind, then she'd better get some, well, experience.What Neve needs is someone to show her the ropes, someone like Celia's colleague Max. Wicked, shallow, sexy Max. And since he's such a man-slut, and so not Neve's type, she certainly won't fall for him. Because William is the man for her... right?

Somewhere between losing weight and losing her inhibitions, Neve's lost her heart - but to who?

Girl On The Run - Jane Costello

This is the perfect read for anyone who is failing miserably at the new years diet or health kick, and wants to laugh out loud alongside someone who is also missioning her way through, wait for it, running. A funny and relatable read, you DO NOT have to be interested in running to love this book and you won't want to put it down. Who knew joining a running club could be so much fun? 

The Official Blurb  

He's a real catch...if only she could catch him up. Abby Rogers has been on health kicks before - they involve eating one blueberry muffin for breakfast instead of two. But since starting her own business, after watching one too many episodes of The Apprentice, the 28-year-old's waistline has taken even more of a back seat than her long-neglected love life. When Abby is encouraged to join her sporty best friend's running club - by none other than its gorgeous new captain - she finds a mysterious compulsion to exercise. Sadly, her first session doesn't go to plan. Between the obscenely unflattering pink leggings, and the fact that her lungs feel as though they've been set on fire, she vows never to return. Then her colleague Heidi turns up at works and makes a devastating announcement, one that will change her life - and Abby's - forever.


8 January 2018

2018 - No Resolutions Here

Bonjour 2018, au revoir 2017, it's a miracle, you see, overnight I have become a new person, filled with eternal optimism for a new year where I'll hit the gym everyday, lose a stone, be more positive, smash my career, save for my dream home and conquer the world!!

Reality is a bit more like January spent slogging through the days, trying to make it through the grey gloom alive, failing at the diet, not getting to the gym once, and with any free time spent curled up on the sofa, in reindeer slippers, finishing off the Xmas chocolates and wishing it was still December.

*Although seriously I really am going to try to be  be more positive this year!!

But I'm sorry New Year, do I sound ever so slightly cynical? Hmm, anyway, it's January the 8th now and everyone is bored of their resolutions already and back to being grumpy, moany and judgy. Why can't people be less grumpy? Maybe they should make that a resolution instead of trying to complete a Master Cleanse... 

Sorry not sorry though,  this year I've found the new year proclamations kind of annoying. And old and over-done and a liittle bit repetitive. The New Year isn't our only window of change. We can make positive changes (or not) at any time during the year, all year round! Now don't get me wrong, it's great to take stock at the end of a year, and have a period of quiet reflection.....but if you (unfortunately) hang out in the social media realm often, you can end up spending said quiet-period-of-reflection looking at everyone else's achievements instead of your own....

You may have achieved some great things in 2017! But how can that possibly compare to jet-setting June's endless trips round the world, Sally from school making Director at her company, or someone you've never actually met (but have on your Facebook) buying her second home in London when she's under thirty! Are pigs actually flying right now?

This year especially I've seen how utterly tasteless people can be with their end of year bragging. Because you know what, you yourself, or people you know, might have actually had a really hard year in 2017. There may have been real loss, sadness and heartbreak. And so somehow the 'best nines' of those people who judge their year by how many handbags they bought (or got bought) or how many luxury holidays they went on make me feel a little bit hollow. 

What about the important stuff that you can't jam into an instagram grid? Health, inner peace, a moral compass, values, the good done behind the scenes that you can't prove with a picture? Argh social media, you have so much to answer for!!

And really it's all nonsense anyway because we should be focusing on ourselves! I picked up a copy of Sarah Knight's 'Just Do You' book yesterday (I'll report in on this later) - but just a few chapters in, it's message is so true! You absolutely have to at least TRY to be yourself (in a world that's trying it's best to make you like everyone else.) 

Don't feel stupid if you don't like what everyone else pretends to love (I think this is an Emma Watson quote?)

So, in my first post of 2018 I'm absolutely not going to write a long list of new year's resolutions, embellish my highlights of 2017, ramble on about a 'new me', set a load of unrealistic goals or outline the same five dreams that pretty much everyone else has at the start of a new year (travel more, quit social media, save more, see more, and give up alcohol/smoking/chocolate *insert bad habit here*). 

You can do any of the above at any time and it doesn't all have to be achieved in January. You might not even want to do any of the above - ever! And that's ok too.

I have a big blog post on my social media thoughts coming soon and FYI if it's making you stressed, log the hell out! Or if you need it for work or business, try and find some balance. And don't always buy into the highlight reel of people 'smashing' their NY resolutions ...just do what's right for you. Try and buy into any genuine positivity where you can, because sometimes people genuinely do have wonderful news to share, but there are also people out there having a dreadful time - so balance is HUGELY important. 

And in all honestly, I think however glamorous it looks for some, we're all just trying to get through January, waiting for lighter evenings, warmth and spring!!

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