31 August 2015

29 August 2015

My current playlist

The truth is, driving makes me irritable. The 40 minutes it takes me to get from my house to work are easily the worst 40 minutes of my day. I'm not a great driver, I have to cover a painful mix of country lanes and motorways and the air con in my car is pretty crappy. All in all, not an experience I would recommend, even if you're a mindful yoga teacher with an array of calming breathing techniques. The only thing that keeps me relatively relaxed whilst approaching a cyclist on a thin two way street (come on, there's literally a cycle path right there!) is good music. And lots of it.

This post was inspired by Christina over at StyleStorey, who made me realise that despite the fact that music can turn me from The Hulk to Yoko Ono whilst in the car, I've never actually posted about it before. The time has come to change that and give you all a look into the extremely personal matter of my current playlist.



Body Talk by Foxes 

This has been one of my "summer songs". You know, the songs that require a rolled down window, sunglasses and some kind of chilled beverage in the cup holder. The kind of song that makes me dance at traffic lights.


Gnash just makes me happy. It's easy to get sassy to this song, despite being in a relationship and therefore having nobody to sing "I bet you wish that you ain't played me now" to. I'm genuinely shocked that he hasn't yet got more recognition, because all of the songs on his Soundcloud are phenomenal. 

Trap Queen by Fetty Wap 

How many times a day do I shout "1738"? A lot. And usually whilst I'm at work and should be asking customers if they want a second drink with their meal. This is my guilty pleasure. 

Like em young by Tove Lo 

We all knew Tove Lo was going to make an appearance. Seeing her live at V Fest reignited my obsession, although it never really went out. "Like em young" is one of her less deep songs, as can be seen in the line "I don't know what really gets you more, is it that my guy is gonna live out yours?"

Can't feel my face by The Weeknd

You've heard it and you love it too, don't lie to yourself.

Love Ballad by Tove Lo 

We all knew that Tove Lo was going to make a second appearance. "Love Ballad" fuses my desire to listen to soppy love songs but my equally compelling want for music that doesn't take itself too seriously. Who doesn't long for a romance that leads to someone being willing to give you their "last spliff"? Ain't love sweet?

27 August 2015

How to get through Sixth Form relatively unharmed

This isn't year 11 anymore my friends, this is the real deal. You're officially about to make that "jump" from GCSE to AS that you've heard so much about from the annoying year 13s. Take a deep breath, buy yourself some nice stationary and together we will get you through your first year of Sixth Form (hopefully unharmed).




Do your damn homework

If there's one thing I learnt in my first few weeks of Sixth Form it's that I had to change my disorganised self and get a grip! Because (plot twist) homework is actually important from year 12 onwards. I mean, it actually has a use and isn't just something the teacher is required to set. So, whilst throughout my GCSEs I basically forgot every piece of biology homework set and still came out with an A, that just wouldn't have happened at AS. In my experience, homework often acted as the basis of the following lesson. If you don't do the homework, you don't understand the lesson. Have fun doing that catch up in your own time! And if you do essay subjects, I beg you to just do your set reading.

Organisation over perspiration  

In order to complete the aforementioned homework and everything else Sixth Form required I became a list addict. Even though I'm a classic pen and paper kind of girl, I found using the "Wunderlist" app to be an absolute life saver throughout year 12 and 13. Not only can you have multiple lists all in one place (that don't blow away in the wind when you open whichever book their tucked into) but it makes a beautifully satisfying ding when any item is completed.

It's also important to have a good academic diary or planner that you actually use. Because trust me, you won't remember the date of your English mock which is two months down the line until it's too late. Just go to WHSmiths, fork out your £10 and dedicate yourself to living by whatever is in your new planner.

Just start revising 

You've heard it all before and the chances are that you won't listen, but revising early is probably the biggest thing I learnt the importance of in Sixth Form. You don't have to go hardcore, but around December time you really should consider starting to learn things like key vocabulary or equations. So you're not carrying around hundreds of flashcards, I would recommend the app "Brainscape" which regulates how often cards are shown based on how well you score yourself as knowing the answers. How else would one go about learning 80 Hamlet quotes?

Drink tea 

Or coffee. Or smoothies. Or eat something tasty. Basically, do whatever it is that can keep you relatively calm when the inevitable stressful situations arise. I don't quite think I would have survived UCAS without at least five mugs of green tea a day!

Remember yourself 

Don't get lost among the work sheets and the looming exams; try to remember to do things that you love every single day. Sixth Form is important but it's not everything. In fact, in comparison to your happiness it's minor. Do your homework but also go running (if you're the kind of crazy person that likes running), read or sing at the top of your lungs in your bedroom for hours. Teachers may wish you to believe otherwise, but it is these things that will get you through Sixth Form with a smile on your face and happy grades to match.

25 August 2015

5 things V Fest taught me

1. We need to stop filming concerts 

Standing in front of one of my favourite female artists - Tove Lo - shaking, soaking with sweat and screaming her lyrics louder than I knew possible, I was suddenly struck by how much I hate the video capturing capabilities of modern phones. Thanks to this generation's belief that nothing has happened unless it's on Facebook, my view of my idol was reduced on numerous occasions to that of a barely visible figure above "recording" symbols on iPhones. It was these moments that reminded me I was human. V Fest therefore taught me to put down my phone. How can we live in the moment and feel temporarily elevated among the divine whilst sharing sweat with a crowd in the thousands if we're focused on whether to take a full length picture or one in square frame so it's Instagram compatible? After asking myself this question I only used my phone to send the occasional text home, leaving me with just the 10 second clip of Tove Lo I took at the beginning of the set whilst suppressing my hysteria. It was definitely worth the freedom to scream and dance and generally love the present moment. 

2. Hot dogs can be eaten for every meal

If you've never been to a music festival, you are probably ignorant towards the glorious variety of hot dogs that can be eaten for every meal - the classic dog with fried onions, mustard and ketchup, soy veggie dogs (basically one of your 5-a-day, right?), the chilli dog with pulled pork and a plethora of mexican themed toppings (a personal favourite of mine), and others which time did not permit me to become acquainted with. Ergo, it is totally acceptable to eat pretty much nothing but hot dogs whilst at V Fest. Maybe add in some cheesy chips, a few warm doughnuts and copious amounts of alcohol and you're sorted for the weekend. 



3. "Festival style" pictures in magazines are taken in VIP 

My dreams of swanning around a field in a cloud of tie-dye and glitter were swiftly squashed when I stepped into the main arena and onto a half-eaten burger. V Fest taught me that if you don't look like utter crap by the end of the three days, you're doing it wrong. Or you're in VIP. By the end of most sets I was so hot I looked like I'd stepped out of a shower, but one that circulates slightly dirty water. I think that's a sure sign of a good time.

4. To appreciated my skin-care regime 

After just three nights of not using Lush's Ultrabland cleanser and a decent makeup remover, my skin is as dry as sandpaper and I can already feel the spots brewing under the surface. V Fest taught me the importance of good skin care and how much I take it for granted in daily life.

5. To just dance 

V Fest reinforced a lesson I learnt in Amsterdam - to dance at every given opportunity. Since nobody looks cool dancing in the rain to Olly Murs anyway, you may as well just take a deep breath and enjoy your damn self after spending over £200 to attend! Running Man and Funky Chicken to your heart's content. You don't get many opportunities to just let go, so I've learnt to run into such opportunities head first. 

18 August 2015

Embracing change

For the past few months I've been craving change - New places, new people and a new look to go with my imaginary new life. Mainly this manifested into the undying desire to chop off my hair, as I spoke about in this post. After years of loving my out of control curls, I wanted nothing more than to cut them short. My fear was somehow overpowered by my want for something new. So, yesterday I marched purposefully into my hair dresser and told her I needed her services right now. As it turns out, that's not really how it works and I had to make an appointment for a few hours later, but that still felt pretty damn spontaneous.

By 1pm I was walking home having had a weight lifted from my shoulders, in both the figurative and literal sense. It's embarrassing how many times I've been checking myself out in car windows/shop fronts/any reflective surface I come across. I'm obsessed. I guess this is all the proof I need that changing your look can change your outlook - How is it possible that cutting away a few inches of hair feels synonymous with freedom?




Here's a little "before picture" which also successfully highlights the wonders that a holiday to Spain can have on your skin:








14 August 2015

Wishlist: University homeware

For those of you that haven't yet faced my overwhelming excitement on the following matter: I'M GOING TO UNIVERSITY! Yesterday I breathed for the first time since June, finding out that my place at Roehampton University to study English Lit has been confirmed with me getting an AAB in my A-Levels. Feel free to release party poppers, drink champagne until you fall over and kiss my feet in celebration of this news. Not only does it mean I have a seemingly undying case of butterflies, but it also means I can start planning a haul for the important things in life - homeware.



Crystals coaters - £15 M&S // Pentagram dream catcher - £15 Urban Outfitters // Purple flame candles - £8 Urban outfitters // Copper letter basket - £35 Urban outfitters // Diamond Terrarium - £35 Urban outfitters // Copper and marble jar - £70 // Britney mug - £9 Urban outfitters // Copper soap dispenser - £35 Urban outfitters // Elephant pillows - £35 Urban Outfitters // Scratch map - £20 Urban Outfitters // Jewellery box - £30 Urban Outfitters // Work for it wall art - £45 Urban Outfitters 



11 August 2015

8 things a waitress has to tell you




Seating plans are not a myth.

The restaurant is a very choreographed place in which there is no room for random bursts of improv. You have been sat in your seat for a very specific set of reasons. You have been sat there because it is not booked, because it suits your party size and usually because it means each waitress gets a relatively equal number of people in her section. Don't move tables. And no, you, as a group of 2, cannot sit on a booth that accommodates 8.

If you change your mind on an order once it's been put in the system, the polite thing to do is just suck it up. 

Let me tell you the story of what happens to your waitress after you've told her to change an order she's already put through. Firstly, she runs (literally, runs) to tell the chefs to ignore the item lest she face the wrath of angry men in a boiling kitchen who have been working for 10 hours straight. Then, she puts through the new item, condensing "this is the meal you need to make for table 45 instead of the one I told you to ignore" into a 3 word electronic note for the aforementioned chefs. Now the hard part - Explaining to the manager just why they need to void a whole meal even though it was never even made. If that's not the definition of "palaver" I don't know what is. So basically, you've successfully annoyed everyone in the restaurant that isn't a customer.

You can't substitute lettuce for steak. 

Or broccoli for king prawns. Or everything on your plate to create a whole new dish. It's just not okay. It messes up the stock and remember the entirely possible wrath of the chefs I mentioned earlier? Yeah, that.

We are just the face of the restaurant. 

Not all mistakes are the fault of your server. Granted, we've all put through one too few glasses of water and even completely incorrect orders before. We're human. Unfortunately though we also have to be the ones to break it to customers when food has been forgotten about in the kitchen or not enough mozzarella has been ordered to accommodate them having their desired starter choice. We don't control stock or cook your food (if we did, our wages would be significantly higher). So, just try to, like, be a nice person about it.

Don't be the cause of a late close. 

Do you people have no homes to go to? Assumedly you do considering you're on your third bottle of champagne of the night. So why don't you go to yours and I'll go to mine shortly after? Look around you, notice you are the only table left in a restaurant entirely set for the next day, and take a non-subtle hint.

I'm not Italian.

Yes, I work in an Italian restaurant. No, I'm not Italian. No, I've never been. No, I cannot understand a word of what you just said.

A waitress is always busy. 

Don't be fooled by an empty restaurant, waitresses always have little, annoying things to do. I'm not saying it's like working at NASA, but waiting tables is but a portion of our never ending list of tasks. To name a few: Filling salt and pepper pots, polishing every piece of cutlery on the face of the earth, folding napkins, cleaning glass just for small children to rub their hands along it a few seconds later, date dotting. I could go on.

You have a phone right there - split your own bill.  

It's a Saturday night, we have one calculator in the whole restaurant and you want me to split your bill of £197.39 in my head between 7 people right this second? I'm out.

9 August 2015

Wishlist: Dreaming of dreaming

At the end of a 10 hour shift my mind is always more on my bed than it is on my work. I mindlessly serve people whilst lusting after thick duvets and fluffy pillows. And then when I finally get home I pull on the nearest t-shirt, fall onto my mattress and am usually snoring within approximately 0.5 seconds.

In my mind though, my sleep routine in wholly more luxurious. I like to think that if I didn't work as a waitress I would be quite the glamorous sleeper. I'd be the kind of woman who would cover herself in thick creams as part of her nighttime routine before stepping into silky rompers or the oversized t-shirt of a beau (the kind of beau who buys you Chanel No. 5). Even without the silk and the Chanel I still like the idea of owning some nightwear that isn't 3 years old with a plethora of tea stains as the only decoration. There's something appealing about dressing up just for your own satisfaction.




T-Bar triangle bra - Topshop £9 // Sporty stripe bralet and mini knickers - Topshop £26 // Namaste PJ T-shirt - Topshop £20 // Sporty Pyjama shorts - Topshop £20 // Sporty Pyjama hoodie - Topshop £22 // 90s ribbed pyjama set - Topshop £22 // Striped Pyjama night shirt - Topshop £26 // Never say monday sleep tee - Pink by Victoria's Secret £16.58 // Fifi floral crop cami and high waist short set - £12 Boohoo.com // Jenny sating contrast trim crop vest and short set - £10 Boohoo.com // milkshake night dress - £10 boohoo.com // Roar dinosaur socks - £3.50 Topshop // Grey satin bra - £6 Miss Selfridge 

6 August 2015

My "health food" essentials

I've always been considered "weird" when in comes to food. I can remember trying to explain to my friends in primary school why I didn't want to eat my turkey twizzlers yet finished my carrots and broccoli in about 0.2 seconds. Their response was silence and stares that said I was crazy. For some reason unbeknownst to me I've just always loved fruits and veggies - fresh food is my weakness. Or my strength, I guess.  

I'm not saying I don't love warm waffles with white chocolate or the occasional hot dog (with mustard, ketchup and friend onions obviously) but I'm lucky enough to also crave food that does good for my body. I'm fortunate enough to lust over avocados just as much as I do chocolate. Most of the time at least! 

Being the nosey and food obsessed person I am, I love getting insight into what other people eat and the kind of things they put in their basket every week. I'm guessing I can't be alone, so I thought I'd talk to you all about some of my food essentials, which just so happen to be what most people consider to be healthy. 



Fruit


There is very little I love in the world more than fruit. Having a sweet tooth, it's what the majority of my food money goes on and I have no qualms about that! I'm lucky enough to live super close to a farm shop which sells delicious, usually fresh and surprisingly cheap (that mango was 20p!) fruit all year round. My two main staple fruits are mango and water melon, which tend to be what my pre-workout breakfast comprises of. I then also pick up whatever berries are available to add to smoothies or have throughout the day. Today it was a huge bunch of black grapes and some local cherries.

Chia, quinoa and bulgar wheat 


I know I sound like just about every single health guru on the internet but I cannot live without chia in my life. I'm not a fan of chia pudding on account of it being scarily reminiscent to fish eggs so just throwing the seeds onto cereal or into smoothies has become my routine. I would be lost without them. You've probably heard it all before but chia seeds have two times more protein than most grains and an insane amount of calcium, plus a whole load of other good stuff. I also always keep my cupboard stocked with this bulgar wheat and quinoa mix to bulk up salads and other lunches whilst giving a protein and fibre boost for a girl who steers away from meat. 

Green tea and agave 


I love all tea, from simple english breakfast right through to the beetroot and raspberry one I occasionally fancy. Yet still, the tea I always seem to be putting into my basket at Tesco is the green kind. Its first bonus is that it doesn't need milk, which I rarely have in the fridge. Secondly, it rehydrates better than water and is full to the steaming brim with anti-oxidants. Thirdly, when I sweeten it with agave nectar - a natural sweetener - it tastes just splendid. 

 Almond butter

On toast. On banana slices. Straight from the spoon. Need I say much more? Almond butter is my cocaine, hence the huge tub which takes me a shockingly short time to get through. 

Veggies


Avocado is hands down the best vegetable (okay, so technically it's a fruit) on this planet, with asparagus coming in a close second. As well as frozen onion slices and mixed peppers, these are unchangeable staples in my diet that I never stop craving. I mash avo onto toast, put it in salads or just eat it alone and asparagus tends to feature, fried in a bit of olive oil, in my lunches. 

Pittas and eggs


As much as I love fruits and veggies, I also need something a little more substantial, especially considering the fact I don't like meat so much. Enter eggs and pitta breads. I scramble my eggs and usually pair them with asparagus and other vegetables to make light lunches, adding wholemeal pitta breads if my stomach so desires. Not only do I adore eggs with a little bit of cracked black pepper, but they up my protein intake too, which is always handy. 

4 August 2015

July favourites: Skin, clothes and finding calm

New jeans 

I ripped both of my two favourite pairs of jeans in the space of two weeks last month.The trauma was intense having only been left with denim that didn’t fit (since when was I ever a size 8?), but I’m elated to say that I finally bought a replacement pair and I am absolutely obsessed.

Unexpectedly, these skin-tight, pale blue beauties are from Matalan. Usually I’m a black jean kind of girl but the high waist and perfect fit meant I couldn’t resist them. And they are so damn comfy. It’s like wearing clouds against your thighs. 


Yoga 

I feel like all I talk about is yoga but it’s only because I wish everybody would try it and experience the same level of wonder as I have. Yoga has changed my life. I’m addicted. In moments of stress or tiredness the first thing I crave is to hop on my mat and relax into supta baddha konasana. I’m currently still making my way through the “30 days of yoga with Adrienne” videos on YouTube and am loving every single stretch. 

I’m not saying yoga is magic but it does make me feel bloody amazing.


LUSH’s Ultrabland 

Last month was harsh on my skin. Air travel, being back at work for 12 hour straight shifts with a face full of makeup and a severe lack of sleep would usually leave me with a dry and insanely sensitive face. From experience, I know that normally I would be left applying copious amounts of moisturiser and looking in the mirror asking “Why do bad things happen to good people?”. 

However, now that I’m armed with LUSH’s Ultrabland cleanser I feel as though my skin can take on the world and all of its pour clogging nastiness. My skin is radiant. I’m not being vain, it’s just true. I bow down to Lush for not only saving my skin but also making it super easy for me to take off my makeup at 1:30am after I’ve stumbled in from a late shift of serving food to strangers.


Stacked necklaces 

There’s something wonderfully “I just threw this outfit together" about wearing numerous necklaces at once, isn’t there? The way I see it, the more dainty chains I can have around my neck at once, the better. It manages to somehow take the plainest of outfits into the realms of “model off duty at LFW”. 

Maybe I don’t quite look like Cara Delevingne walking the cobblestones of Somerset House when I chuck on my beyond cheap neck attire, but I can at least pretend.