Monday, 10 November 2014

Remember Me, The Girl Who Changed Your Life

sparklers image, fall image, winter image, fireworks image
This is truth of our pasts: we have all changed each other. We made a subtle mark, we left footprints, and we created memories. You see, I always talk about how everyone else has changed me, or how someone's actions changed the way I think or the way I operate. I always turn them into one of two things: a villain or a hero, and I never think of myself the same way. We're not victims, and we have enough power to make or break another human being, to hurt another heart.

But we all do this. We all remember moments in our lives defined by who orchestrated them, and who cut us open. We never think about what we have done to others, and when we do, we do so by thinking we did it for the best. We justify it. We underestimate our influence, we strip away our value and ignore our power. 

I never really thought about it before. What my behaviour or my words may have done for others, or what it might have done to them. What I mean is, the breakups, nasty fights and battle wounds, they left us all damaged even if it wasn't forever. No one won my wars, and no one claimed a triumphant victory. We all just survived. 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

A Perfect Reaction to 1989 by Taylor Swift

taylor swift 1989 image

In the early hours of October 27th, I listened to 1989 three times. I'd been desperate for Taylor Swift's new album, and my body refused to let me sleep past 7AM. When Rhys woke up, the first thing I told him was "It's not angry. She's not angry anymore." There is no bitternesss here. If anything, the angriest song  on the album is "Bad Blood", but this is not about a man. It's the battle with another woman, but it isn't shaming or problematic. It's protective. Taylor Swift is far less haunted by the demons that pulled her apart, she's less vulnerable now to the crippling heartbreaks of youth.

What I will say first is that 1989 is delirious with full throttle pop, but an amused reinvention of it. The three tracks inspired by Harry Styles (Style, Out of The Woods and All You Had To Do Was Stay) are probably some of the best on the album, but I can't choose the best. There is no filler here, everything has meaning (and everything is perfect, but I'm admitting that I am 100% biased).

Monday, 20 October 2014

Tipping Your Waitress Is Optional, So Is Us Being Nice To You

Earlier today, I came across a conversation on Twitter that basically tore apart the generosity of tipping. Why should we tip bar staff, waitresses or even a hotel doorman? This quite frankly, enraged me. A lot of people jumped on the bandwagon to agree with someone who is considered a digital opinion leader, or a social influencer. This enraged me even more.

When people tip, they usually tip because of the service they've been given. Or maybe, they have just felt painfully sorry for their server. I've made many a pity tip, especially on match days during the Welsh rugby season. Match days have probably always been my most lucrative source of income, and they usually pay for those basic human rights such as food or shelter. You know, the things most people don't have to endure polishing buckets of cutlery for? Yeah, those things. 
funny kim kardashian gif image, 2 broke girls image
Source: Tumblr

Sunday, 19 October 2014

L'Oreal Color Riche Exclusive Reds - Blake's Pure Red

loreal color riche blake lively pure red image

Admittedly, I bought the new L'Oreal Color Riche Exclusive Red lipstick because this one had Blake Lively's name on it. Let's be honest here, I would probably buy a year's supply of dog biscuits if Blake's face was on the packet. But generally speaking, I wasn't expecting much of it. 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Autumn Favourites: October Appreciation

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The first time I notice the Autumn change is probably one of my favourite moments of the entire year. It usually happens on an early September morning, when there's a silent shift in the air. Everything is crisper, fresher and the air is finally free from the contamination of summer and sunscreen. Coffee shop tables are are no longer smudged with melted ice cream. That moment is when my mind obsesses over Octobers and conkers, and a textured world of reds and burnt orange. 
fall images, autumn images, blair waldorf fashion
Images 1,2,3 found on Pinterest, images 4 and 5 from my own Instagram

Friday, 17 October 2014

Gotham: Dissecting a Prequel

Warning: Some gentle spoilers 

Once again we find ourselves faced with another comic book reboot, but this time it is without it's original namesake. Do we love this idea, or is it bananas to create a project without it's leader? Right now, it seems to be working as it's considered to be one of the breakout seasons of the Autumn. Instead of giving us the older Batman, what Gotham offers us is a history. It shadows the journey of  a young Commissioner James Gordon, and a ten year old Bruce Wayne (Baby Batman) while it births the stories of iconic villains that include The Riddler, and Penguin. Gotham also stars a hoard of familiar names such as Benjamin McKenzie, Donal Logue and  Jada Pinkett Smith. 

gotham tv show image, gif image
First things first, this isn't a story about Batman. At least it's not trying to be. Although it couldn't exist without the shy presence of a young Bruce, the series is less invested in him and his future as a vigilante in a cape. At this point in the game, we're not talking about Batman. Careful not to abandon him altogether, the show gives us an inside look into Bruce's life in the aftermath of his parent's death and his eager grasp on justice. What we are given is more police procedural than comic book hero, as the show concentrates on Commissioner Gordon and his battle with corrupt law enforcement (or as I like to refer to him, my good buddy Jim).

Autumn Haircare: Old Wives Tail Hair Oil

blog image, hair image, hair quote image
My hair is my crowning glory. Sadly, there was one devastating point in my life where my hair was neglected, straw-like and tired. Due to over curling, over colouring and a general commitment to re-creating the hair of Blake Lively, I pretty much wrecked my hair. I gradually started taking care of my hair, and after years of reversing the damage it has become a healthy beacon of hope. At least I think so, anyway. So when new haircare company Old Wives Tail got in touch, I leaped at the chance to treat my hair.

Old Wives Tail produce organic and completely home-made hair care products. All products are vegan and they pledge to donate 10% of profits to animal welfare charities. Animal testing is an issue that plagues the cosmetics industry, as an influx of beauty giants find loopholes to enable painful suffering on masses of cute and fluffy faces. At it's core, Old Wives Tail aims to eradicate all forms of animal testing. The story behind their conception is fairly nifty, and you can check it out in it's entirety at their website.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

We're All Afraid Of The World We Live In

Trick or treat? You've already met this year's greatest monster and the collected greatest fear. We're all afraid of the world we exist in, and sometimes we don't understand why.

At one point in my life, the world seemed to have reached a steady plateau, at least to me. I felt like the world was making very slow progress, but progress nonetheless. It seemed as though the world was becoming a more tolerant, understanding and loving place. Although the world would never become gentle or fair in it's methods, it was still spinning.

Except, nothing much has changed at all.

Friday, 5 September 2014

An Anonymous Look Inside NATO's Ring of Steel

NATO summit 2014 image, cardiff, wales, obama image
"The fear is that our next greatest export is extremism." - Anonymous

This week, the visuals of Cardiff and Newport have emulated scenes from a disaster movie, a torn warzone, and a gritty crime drama. Let's not forget my favourite comparison: Jurassic Park. There are 12 miles of steel fencing surrounding the area, and the closed roads have become a wind tunnel of stony silence outside Cardiff Castle during the hours of Thursday morning. At least, that was until the working dinner held at the Castle later that evening, where the street was sieged by protesters and interested locals. Several arrests were made during the evening, and one could sense the sheer paranoia that shadowed the event. If you looked in one direction, you had marches from police horses, and in another you had snipers in place.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Everyone In Their Twenties Is Lost

“I know what you mean though, about feeling lost.”

She had finished university 3 years ago. She’d found a well-paid and stable job at a company she liked, one that coincided with her own personal interests. She’d quietly stacked building blocks to improve her self-esteem, and she was comfortable. But it was like the puzzle piece that looks like it should fit, and you end up forcing it in.

This girl is my friend.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A Letter To My Ex Boyfriends

Addressed to you: Those who have loved, hated and lost me,

I know that from time to time, you may Google my name. Or linger around my Twitter for a few minutes, because it's the only social network I keep open. I don't know how you feel about my life, because I don't keep tabs on yours. I know that I didn't stay particularly civil to you, because that's how I approach endings. When something is done, it's done. I do not want the burned edges, broken glass or tattered remains. I want a clean cut and lungs filled with fresh air instead of clouded with ash.

To the First,

Our relationship was one that no little girl should have burdened. At 16, I thought I was an adult. So did you. There are some things we should never have to experience, and never need to recall. It was like riding a carousel and the experience left me sick, I was desperate to stop the dizziness.

In hindsight, I feel a lot of shame.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

I Was Catfished By My Best Friend

real catfish story, quotes image, sea image, beach image, catfish image
*Names have been changed to protect identities. Despite everything I'm not going to name and shame someone because of their past mistakes. This isn't to smear her identity, but to share a lesson. If you are this person, I ask that you don't read this blog because it's going to open old wounds. Ignorance is a kindness.

A year ago, something happened. I never wrote about it because I never felt capable of telling the story. But the more I see that people are playing masquerade and acting the jester, the more I feel that I have to share it. 

This isn't your typical Catfish. In some ways, I guess the whole story started online. But I knew this person. Rebecca* was my friend throughout school since 2001, and when I left school for homeschooling in 2005 we stayed in contact. I suppose we drifted for a couple of years, with the occasional conversation and visitation. But it wasn't the same.

We were each other's confidantes, and we were practically the same person.We loved the same things, and we often said things too eerily similar. Often, I wonder if parts of my own personality were neatly extracted to fit perfectly into her own.

When I ended my first doomed relationship in 2008 she was automatically there for me, and we kept in touch online and through social media. That's where the story really starts, because that's when her life changed. 

Rebecca had a long term boyfriend, Adam*. Their relationship was riddled with complexities and the common mistakes of youth. She would always take him back, except when she found him addicted to drugs. Then she went to university and by the time I arrived at the same university a year later, he had found his way back into her life. She lived two streets away from me, but I never saw them together. I never even saw a picture. I didn't really think about it, because some people are more private than others.

Still, I couldn't shake the feeling that no one knew him.

Why Twenty-Something Birthdays Will Never Mean As Much

birthday cake image, birthday image, millennials
I've never quite had the natural grace of accepting the generosity of another person. The times I notice this are the obvious, Christmas and my birthday. I generally find it rather awkward, and it can seem as though I'm rather unenthusiastic on the morning of my birthday.

I am blessed, I know that. I'm incredibly lucky and equally grateful that as I turned 24 my life had rid itself of clutter and toxins, and that I had a solid group of people to depend on. In hindsight, my 23rd birthday held no promise. Those months were filled with loss, dishonesty and crippling disappointment. Although I am realistic enough to expect more of it to come my way, I found this birthday easier to deal with.

Maybe it was because I had forgot it was coming, or that I had little excitement over my new found age and wisdom. The more I've learnt, the more harsh about life I become. As a child, we grasp to naivety like we clutch to birthday balloons and we feed on the promise of hope that comes with the day that marks our climb out of wonderland and into the bright lights of the world.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The Secret of Being Happy

You know those people? The ones who are always happy, and never complain about a thing in life? We know that it is next to impossible that all of them are just "happy people" by nature.

So we wonder how they do it. How do they maintain a face full of sunshine and carry two handfuls of optimism? The truth is, they don't. They lie. There are no eternal silver linings or limitless half full glasses. They just know how to mask it, and if they believe they are happy then isn't that as good as the real thing?

What brings you happiness?

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Trouble With The Truth

quotes image, truth image, truth quotes, blogs, bloggers, writing, summer
The problem with the truth, is that it always hurts. We deny it, we batten down the hatches and we throw up our armour. When our truths come to confront us, we do whatever we can to make it disappear. Even if that means there is collateral damage along the way.

After my blog post, "The Rarity of Kindness" went live last Thursday, I've been forced to repeat justifications of my opinion, and deal with unpleasant reactions and the usual gossip. I didn't quite understand, to be honest. I knew I would shake it off, and I knew no person's opinion was more valid than another's. I stood by my words, and comforted myself with the small detail that they were at least talking about my work, this time.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Nailed it: Essie Watermelon

essie, watermelon, swatches, pink nails, red nails, review, summer

Recently, a terrible thing happened. I found myself bored of all of my nail polishes. Even summer shades like tropical oranges and deep ocean turquoises. I was even sick of pink nails, and I was upset about it. So it wasn't exactly a devastating turn for the worst, but I was at a loss for what to do with my hands. If it had carried on much longer I may have needed some lace gloves and a new ladylike alter ego, because bare nails are not exactly my thing. First world problems, indeed.

Then I suddenly had 3 new ones out of nowhere. My bad, you guys. Besides, the situation was clearly out of my control. When I bought a little glass bottle of Essie happiness on Monday, my face was about to fall off while I waited for my antibiotics to be dispensed. If you ever have a wisdom tooth, come and complain with me and my inflamed and infected gums. I'd also been lusting after this colour for a couple of weeks. Human nature controls my common sense, because I always want what I don't have or what I see on Instagram. 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Rarity of Kindness: A rough sleeper in Wales

sea, beach, summer, quotes, wales, travel, pretty image, travel image, beach image

There's a lot of homeless people in Cardiff. I'd usually give change to the homeless man outside Greggs, or wish I could do more for them so they could have warm drinks on biting days and clean water on muggy summer afternoons. I admit that on occasion I have found myself unnerved by some, but generally speaking I'm far more uneasy about the drunken middle aged men stalking the dimly lit road of Schooner Way.

Yet, they are probably better off in Cardiff. A place with higher footfall, diverse population and a slight whiff of charitable understanding. Their odds are better here. If you've been a reader of my blog for a while, you'll know that this kind of issue pulls at my conscience. When I came back from New York in January 2013 I did not write travel blogs, I wrote one singular article about the homeless.

It could just as easily be me.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Most Influential: What inspires us?

inspiration quotes image, new york city image, new york, quotes image
As it does every week, TIME Magazine landed gracefully on the cool stone tiles of my hallway sometime over the weekend. The annual issue is filled with the most influential people of the year. These include world leaders, artists, celebrity icons and innovators.

Women like Kerry Washington and Beyonce were included in the 2014 list of The 100 Most Influential People. It also included world leaders like Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin as well as fired up pop culture icons such Pharrell Williams and Miley Cyrus and her tongue.

They all got us talking this year. But who gets us working? Who gets us living? How do we decipher who holds the heaviest influential capital? I think it has less to do with who is in the public eye, and more to do with who we connect with on a personal level. Sure, we can disagree with Ukraine and we can roll our eyes at twerking, but does it effect our everyday behaviour?

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Accessories Edit: feat.

More than anything else in my wardrobe, I am a full on lover of accessories and magpie attracting jewellery. For as long my aging brain can remember, I have lived on a budget- and I firmly believe you can recreate and accentuate an outfit by some tactical and well placed accessorising. The only thing I value more than a diverse collection of jewellery, scarves and bags is a well made navy blazer and the perfect pink lipstick.

The problem I generally have is finding somewhere that feeds my insatiable need for all things pretty, while being affordable and quality driven. At some point while scrolling through Twitter, I came across and found myself lusting over their products featured on their feed.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

How to: Summer Nails with Urban Decay Electric

urban decay, nail image, photography image, pink nails image, summer nails, glitter nails
I have a not so mind blowing confession. I am an helpless addict to Urban Decay, and by the amount of products that have popped up on this blog you have probably noticed. It's official, I can no longer walk past a counter without dabbling with a little something something. The beautiful girls at the Cardiff counter are also my shameless enablers, and there is not one person who can tell me to stop. I need to stop going to the UD counter, or I'll be broke and depressed. But at least I'll have nice things, right?

Like a chivalrous gentleman, Rhys promised me a present. So I went on a mini haul a couple of weeks ago and I picked up the Electric nail trio. The set costs £10, and for 3 miniatures I think it's a sweet deal. As we finally transition into warmer months I wanted a little colour injection for my make up collection, and this is obviously a simple and cost effective way to update your look.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Being pro choice doesn't mean I hate children

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The more I live my life, the more I see that the world isn't a black and white place. Life is knotty and messy. It is complicated and people live their lives in grey areas. Women are more than baby bearing machines, and men are more than sperm donors. No opinion holds more weight due to gender, and who am I to tell you what you believe?

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Pieboy Clothing: Urban Grey Bobble Hat

pieboy clothing, fashion image, accessories, hipster, style
Born in 2011, Pieboy are an urban hat brand that love "everything street". They created a range of bobble hats that have created a buzz by fast becoming a staple among university students. Pieboy also have their very own range of Varsity hats, where you can purchase one that declares your university solidarity. They also developed a hashtag on Twitter, and if you tweet #MyPieBoyHat you are in with the chance to win merchandise every Friday. A very clever move by this upcoming brand, as we see more and more companies offering a personal incentive to get involved on social media.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

7 Men we all have to learn from in our 20's

Cinderella found her prince at the ball. Sleeping Beauty waited to be woken. Rapunzel waited for a man to free her. In the fairytales, the princesses do their fair share of waiting for one man. While we experience more than one male presence in our lives, our refusal to do the waiting is evident. We won't be rescued, and we won't swoon at first impressions across a dimly lit ballroom. We will learn from the men that flit away like hummingbirds, and equally from the men who remain constant.

Obviously, men are tricky. They eventually transition from cocky boys to even cockier men, but there are the other men in your life who play their part too. There are the rage inducing family members, who will have your best interests are heart no matter how they seem to approach it. There are your friends. There are the great loves of your life. There are the tragic romances, which left us picking ourselves up from the bathroom floor. Granted, sometimes we were picking ourselves up due to one too many swigs of tequila, but it was all in the name of self improvement.

Where I've been: blogging, blunders and being busy.

I know, I know. It's been a while. The truth is, I have a  growing myriad of half written posts and new products to blog about. The thing I haven't had? Time.

I've been travelling between Cardiff and Pembrokeshire, on a last ditch attempt to make some quick cash. I've gone back to one of my old summer jobs for money after one of my grand ideas went disastrously pear shaped. Not that you want to know the details but one tip: When someone says they'll pay you, do everything you can to make them pay up or you'll end up in my situation.

Don't feel so sad for me though Munchkins, as ever there is a silver lining or two. I'm getting quite good at spotting them now, which is growth. Can I get a hallelujah for growing up?

Saturday, 8 March 2014

I quit my job, and left my comfort zone

quote image, inspirational quotes
Last month,  I got rejected for a job I was almost certain I would get. Initially, I took it badly and had a strop. With hindsight I can see that it was for the best, but it doesn't mean that I'm not struggling with every day issues like paying the bills or finding money to buy a new mascara. Don't judge me on that one- mascara is an essential component to maintaining this look I lovingly like to refer to as "not dead in the eyes".

It sounds ignorant and naive to say I didn't think I needed a back up plan. For me, there was only ever Plan A, and there still is. Plan B is a temporary back up for the Summer, but not a valid choice for permanent security.

Review: Urban Decay Naked Ultra Lipgloss in Liar

urban decay pink lipgloss swatch image

In my last review I discussed Native, a pretty and enticing pink shade included in Urban Decay's Revolution lipstick collection. When I wore it on a night out, this was the gloss that I slicked over the top just to give it a little sparkle. I was lucky enough to receive two of the brand new Naked Ultra lip glosses from Urban Decay in Cardiff after the February beauty blogger event, and one of the shades was Liar.

The first thing I would say, is that for the price I would have hoped for them to be slightly more pigmented. I tested this both with and without the base of a lipstick. In all fairness, this shade has a pretty impressive colour pay off and for daytime wear you can just slick it on for a lovely shimmer of pink. The pink itself is a light rosy pink, and isn't too bright or too dusky. This is always a good thing if you like your pink shades to be a balance between pretty and statement.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Review: Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Native

I have a confession, I am a lipstick hoarder. I'm not ashamed and if you think I have a problem then I'm disgusted. If you are like me and love changing your lipstick several times a day, then we can be best friends- as long as I can swatch your collection.

The latest addition to my expanding collection is the Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick. Let's start off with the packaging. Urban Decay have really upped their game in the past 12 months, and although they're more well known for their coveted eyeshadow palettes we often forget they have a full range of products. On first impressions, the packaging of the Revolution lipsticks are trademark Urban with a sleek gunmental design of silver and violet. 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Goldilocks reviews: Pettigrew Tea Rooms, Cardiff

teacup, pettigrew tea rooms, cardiff, bute park, vintage image
Last Thursday was a particularly dismal day in Cardiff, and so after running some errands with Rhys we braved a walk in the unpredictable spits of rain to grab a cup of tea. We knew where we wanted to go for a quiet lunch, as we are trying to pick out some new culinary favourites. Word of mouth had placed Pettigrew Tea Rooms at the top of our list. Also, tea is very important to me. I consider it vital to a well rounded existence. If tea isn't important to you then you have offended me and we can't be friends, I'm sorry.

Back to Pettigrew Tea Rooms. It's location is it's selling point, despite feeling as though you've only stumbled upon it. It is snuggled at the entrance of Bute Park, and from it's kitchen windows you can see the scenic frosty landscape of the city's park.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

What I know from summers in a seaside village.

Before I moved to Cardiff, I lived in one of Pembrokeshire's most tourist infested villages. I also worked in it's neighbouring village for six years. For the majority of this time, I socially steered myself out of it's direction. I knew how people in the village worked, and the way it's mouth was never clamped shut. I knew that people complained about the nature of gossip but would unravel it themselves, about the way people smiled at you with bared teeth like the wolf going to stay at Grandma's. I also knew that people loved the summers, and a few years ago I gave in.

Why being an underdog generates blog traffic

quote image, writing quote, joss whedon, beach, typography image
Often, I find myself doing my fair share of SEO research and reading other blogs to see what people connect with. The truth is that no matter how many "how to" guides you read, there is no foolproof magic trick to conjure content popularity and high traffic stats. It's going to be different for everyone, depending on your writing style and your interests. You can tick all the SEO boxes and you can have a variety of content, but you'll always find that some posts are more well read than others. You will always walk a wavering tightrope of people's loves and hates, unless you have a large established audience.

If you go through my blog, you'll see a history of politics, world news, and general observations about life. Some of these past articles are some of my best examples of work, but for some reason I couldn't get them to click with readers. Although I still intend on writing articles based on these topics because after all- I like them, I have learned what people come to me for. 

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

I got slut shamed, and I let it go.

An image of friends, two girls, and a quote, white oleander, feminism quote

Sometimes you will write something, and someone won't agree. This is expected, and we embrace new ways of thought. After all, I want to be a journalist and people will often disagree with me. I can't force anyone's hand. I always enjoy a well informed debate, but I don't enjoy it when people are deluded into thinking they wield power over me with words. They do so by getting personal.

Whatever it was that I said, I may have engaged in some exaggerated language as a tool for creating humour. I know when to cut off, and I know what is offensive. This wasn't, and it didn't require the response that it got. It didn't warrant slut shaming. My initial reaction was to suit up, to bring back an armour of self defence. I saw an imminent threat- I saw self righteous ranting, and I saw a big problem.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Beauty Blogger Event: An evening with Urban Decay

urban decay beauty blogger event
As any regular reader of my blog is aware, I am completely besotted with Urban Decay and so far most of my reviews have been UD related. I try to stick to what works, which means I always invest my money in this reliable brand. They are known for their famous eyeshadow palettes, and miracle working eyeliners. I was lucky enough to be invited to a beauty blogger event held in Cardiff. The event was hosted by the ladies at Urban Decay in Debenhams, and it was nothing like you would imagine.

It was a conscious choice by Urban Decay that there was a relatively small group of us, it was much more of an intimate blogger event than you would have initially imagined. This is what gave the evening it's charming curiosity, as it created the impression of being a girly gathering of cupcakes, gossip and make up tips, more than being an awkward sales pitch of products for us to buy. We were hosted by Urbanettes Haddie and Ffion, who were on hand to give us all the information you really need to know about products- such as the tips you might not figure out yourself for a while. The girls were two of the most enthusiastic but laid back hosts you could ever have the pleasure of spending an evening with, and I think we all left with an incredible need to force them into being our new best friends. What impressed me the most was how natural they seemed to find it all- this wasn't some pre-conceived master plan to lure us all in to trusting the brand and it's people. They built an easy rapport with us, knew our names individually and never let a glass go empty of sparkling strawberry joy. Attention to detail, you can't go too wrong with that.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

I quit my job, and things did not go to plan.

ambition, careers, quotes
This is the double edged sword of blogging, when you need to tell the stories you would rather ignore. But I learned very quickly that my experiences seemed to humanise my writing, and they gave people something to relate with. This isn't one of the worst things to happen to me- not by far, but it is part of the promise I made of documenting my progress.

To play you a little "previously on" montage, I quit a job I hated with all intentions of pursuing what I loved, and being okay with it if I had to go and get a job frothing coffees. I have been out of university for 18 months, with little to show for it except the skill of drawing a sometimes symmetrical shamrock in a pint of Guinness. I've had my share of rejection letters, and was all too excited when someone wanted to interview me for a job I actually wanted.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

What no one tells you about living with your boyfriend

living with your boyfriend

Most of us have lived with men before. We've shared living space with our dads, brothers, sisters who act like boys, and housemates. We think we are more than prepared for the launch into domesticity, and although it has it's perks we are ready to admit that the men in our lives somehow get us so riled up we can feel ulcers forming. These are the things I have learned along the way so enjoy, gentle readers.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Goldilocks in Manhattan // Rewind to... Central Park

Central Park, New York, Chanel quote
Manhattan- the beloved home of Carrie Bradshaw's stoop on Perry Street, movie scene rooftop parties, the Empire State Building and Chuck Bass's hotel. It is also home to the most cherished scenes of man-made nature, Central Park. New York is renowned for inspiring writers, musicians and artists to tell stories, and among all of it's vibrancy and character it is home to a safe haven of 843 acres of man-made nature that sees 25 million visitors a year.

New York can behave brutally, and in all honesty it is probably better that way. While it's streets are uncomplicated and simple to navigate, it's inhabitants are not. The weather is temperamental at best, the cab drivers are questionable and the repetitive sound of car horns and sirens will play proudly on the streets of Midtown Manhattan like an orchestra. Don't you just love New York?

Saturday, 25 January 2014

What no one tells you about working behind a bar.

This is something I've wanted to write for a while, as everyone can benefit from my experience. Those pesky social media policies, even when you are careful you get told to take down posts. Back in September, I wrote a post which was pretty much a How To Guide for new bar staff, but written based on my own observations. I got in a sticky situation with it, even though I used disclaimers to protect myself and I was no way affiliated with the company on any social media platform. However, on that day I was told, "When you don't work here you can write whatever you like." The moral of the story, is that chances are you will get into trouble if you write about your life. So be careful, kids.

Before we start, let's get the basics out of the way- I am not mentioning where I worked, and I will not name and shame, but I will share my experiences because who doesn't like to chuckle at my expense? I certainly do.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Waiting for House of Cards is ruining my life.

house of cards netflix
My arrival to the House of Cards bandwagon came pretty late, but I caved in to my usual routine of  "giving it a go". Before I knew it, I could not stop and I joined the legions of overly enthusiastic binge viewers. I suddenly understood the hype and so called "withdrawals" that had clogged up my social media feeds. Do I have a problem? Probably, but I couldn't possibly comment on that. You see, I've taken good advice from Frank Underwood and learnt what I can and can't talk about.

For those who have yet to watch the Netflix original series, it lures it's viewers in with the chance to watch the whole season at once. Here lies it's nifty gateway into addiction, and it's smart dialogue and slickly structured cinematography has you fixated with red bulging eyes while Netflix asks you every so often if you are "still watching House of Cards?". Yes I am and please don't interrupt me with that judgmental tone Netflix- this is all your fault, you monster.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Goldilocks reviews: Urban Decay Naked3 24/7 Eyeliner

Urban Decay Naked 3 review

Yes, I know. I apologise, I haul Urban Decay and I just can't stop. I also know what works for me, and this is a brand that delivers time and time again.

I proudly own Naked2 and it is the reliable and sturdy best friend I wish I had found sooner. It literally saves my face on a daily basis and there's an endless amount of looks you can create with it. However, I already own a lot of 24/7 eyeliners and the Naked3 one was a better match for me.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

"I am Blair Waldorf, Blair Waldorf is me."

Blair Waldorf, gossip girl
Whenever I need a swift nudge in the right direction or I have that overwhelming feeling of not achieving enough, I turn to one of my fictional heroes- the Queen B.

Gossip Girl's Blair Waldorf, although certainly flawed, is an active protagonist who when she realises she isn't getting what she wants, will do whatever she needs to get it. Granted, throughout six seasons this had a habit of blowing up in her face in spectacular fashion- but the intention was still there. Our Queen B was so quick witted and classically put together, with a slick of berry stained lip gloss and unruffled hair, that we knew we couldn't abandon our need to inherit even the smallest Waldorf-isms. Blair Waldorf was never one for modesty but she was a visionary in her own right for passionate young women in the midst of finding themselves, and for those on the painstaking quest of finding the essence of their power.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

I quit my job, and went on a work placement.

Within 2 weeks of quitting my job, I have learnt how to tactfully tell people that I am in between jobs. It rolls off the tongue with an automatic sting of self defence. It is a tactical interlude of employment, if you will- a dramatic transition between two very different parts of my twenties.

This week I spent many an hour at Buzz Magazine, which is based in Cardiff. It is an entertainment and listings magazine, which includes everything there is to do and see in and around South Wales. There is a common misconception that work placements are a week of making tea and being the office lackey, but my experience at Buzz was completely invaluable and one I would recommend without hesitation.

The challenge of being a writer is becoming a credible source of unfamiliar territory. On Tuesday morning, I had no idea about textile art or artists, but by lunch I knew enough to write about it. The same goes for a number of stage previews that I was required to put together. It was fortunate that it was quite a hectic week in the office, with next week's deadline looming- so there was plenty of work to come in my direction such as transcribing interviews and writing content for the website and magazine. The general atmosphere in the office was very calm, and it was much less uptight than one of my previous placements.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Goldilocks reads: The Goldfinch

One of the many books I received for Christmas was The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Most of the books I received were classics and political books, as I'm very particular with fiction. However, my mother chose this for me and made a fantastic choice. Which, is the best compliment I am can give her. Well done, Mum.

Without spoiling any major parts of the novel, the story chronicles the troubled life of Theo Decker, a young man whose mother dies in a terrorist led explosion in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The book follows his journey as he mourns his mother and struggles to deal with the incident, and his guilt over stealing a particular work of art in his rushed escape from the scene. While tackling a prominent presence of profound alienation and socially dysfunctional actions and characters, we follow him as an orphan from downtown New York to the wealth of Park Avenue, to Las Vegas, and then back again.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Goldilocks loves: Urban Decay Beauty Balm & Nail Colour

UD Nail colour and beauty balm
Image my own.
Before Christmas, I went into Debenhams to pick out a few things to include in my stocking. Rhys was kind enough to buy me Naked 2, and these two little gems. I don't think a Naked 2 review is necessarily needed because you can find them absolutely everywhere (although I may do a post on different eyeshadow combinations from the palette). If you've read my other reviews, you will know that Urban Decay is pretty much my go to brand for a lot of products- everything keeps it's promise, and it's also a cruelty free brand which is something that I look for.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

I quit my job, what next?

I quit my job, what next?
Serendipity, it is one of my all time favourite words in the English language. Essentially, it means a fortunate mistake, or a happy accident. That's what my last job was, a mistake that led me to some good fortune despite my crippling unhappiness there. I met Rhys from working there, and I made some irreplaceable friends, but while I was there I couldn't earn enough money and more than anything, I couldn't write what I wanted to. I never broke any social media policy and I always covered myself when it came to disclaimers, but I was still creatively silenced. Which means an uncensored version of myself is on it's way to you.

On my last day, it was lucky that it was more than quiet in the pub. To my joy, I finished my shift 2 hours early. When I clocked out, I knew I had either made a very brave decision or a very foolish one. I had this firm belief that it was the right thing to do, this wasn't a blind decision but a necessary move I had needed to make to improve my lifestyle. I needed to escape from the heavy black cloud in my life, even if another storm was on it's way to me.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Goldilocks at The Undercover Princess

 Goldilocks at The Undercover Princess

As some of you may remember, last month I mentioned a wonderful blogger in my post "Help me, I want to be a journalist." This blog is The Undercover Princess. It is written by the mysterious and charming Eva Victoria, and I am an avid follower of hers and she is by far one of my best supporters. My post, "Signature Scents: The Ladylike Edition" is a light read about iconic feminine scents. Enjoy, gentle readers.

Goldilocks at G20

Love, S
For anyone who doesn't know, I am a contributing writer at the online magazine GenTwenty. My most recent post, "Um, when exactly did everyone get married?" was viewed almost 15,000 times and shared over 7,000 times in little over a week. Since then I have had friends tell me that they have seen their friends sharing it and passing it along on social media. So, it's only fair that I share it with you, my followers. You can read my article on growing up, relationships and marriage here, and don't forget to check back for more articles from me at GenTwenty. 


Goldilocks reviews: My Beauty Compare

Searching for the right beauty product can kill any sort of excitement you had at treating yourself. It's a buzzkill, and we all know it. We have all spent hours searching blogs, looking for swatches and reading reviews. Most of us turn to beauty bloggers, and I love their honesty and persistence when it comes to to reviewing their new beauty buys, they have this credibility that can't be found elsewhere. But unfortunately, we don't all have the same skin types or lifestyles, so while some will accessorise their faces with black bags under the eyeballs on a daily basis, an equal amount will not, and it becomes difficult to know what sort of product suits our needs and circumstances.