Sunday, 19 June 2016

Fragrance: Vera Wang Lovestruck Floral Rush

vera wang perfume image
Lovestruck Floral Rush Eau de Parfum 30ml
Finding your favourite perfume can be a bit of a task. Most of us buy perfumes and associate them with different times in our lives, and we rarely stick to one scent. Perfume is a luxury, and plenty of us wait for birthdays and Christmases to replenish our stock. 

Back in 2011, I discovered my signature scent. The original Vera Wang Lovestruck EDP is my longtime love, and I've gone through so much of it that my old bedroom quickly became a graveyard of glass bottles. 

At the moment, I have a couple of spritz's left in my old bottle, and I'm hanging on to them in case of an emergency. You know, like in case I meet Obama or the Queen.

I was rummaging through TK Maxx a few weeks ago, and came across this version of my old favourite. It was hidden on the bottom shelf behind some make up brushes and a broken eyeshadow, but patience is the key to finding anything in TK Maxx. I have no patience at all, because I like to see everything in front of me - but Rhys is great at rummaging, and usually finds things while I'm busy sulking at the mess.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Photography: Fujifilm Instax Mini 90

instax image

Over the last few years, I've really fallen in love with taking photographs. I won't call it photography, because I'm more of a hobby photographer and I won't take away from what professional photographers do. Sometimes, words can be exhausting. So when I can't write, I like to focus on something through a lens. It helps.

Okay, so I really like cameras. Unfortunately, it is a luxury hobby and I can't always afford to fund it in the way that I would like. Last year, I really got into the whole instant photography thing. I was gifted this by Rhys before we went to Florida in October. I had been nagging anyone who would listen for months. More than anything, I really wanted to come home with some tangible memories. I wanted something I couldn't copy, and couldn't replace.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Books: Mindy Kaling - Why Not Me?

why not me mindy kaling image

Oh Mindy, my long lost best friend. How I wish I knew you.

Basically, I want to be your buddy. Please, tell me anecdotes about Hollywood diets and the making of Kelly Kapoor. Let's have a cocktail and talk about who we'd rather play Truth or Dare with, Bill Clinton or President Obama? Let's debate pizza toppings and compare ex boyfriends.

With our incessant chattiness and self awareness, we could be a power couple: BFF edition. Like Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss, or Kim Kardashian and Instagram. We could make lists about our favourite scenes in Meg Ryan movies, and we could rank our favourite snack foods.

Sunday, 12 June 2016


disneyworld fantasyland tangled image

My hair hangs at the base of my back, and is not as golden as it used to be. I now have two silver scars on my left leg, three on my arm and one on my hand. My skin is flat where rosy cheeks used to be. Some things happen with age.

I always say that 21 was my glory age, and every year after that got progressively worse. You expect to have your shit together by 25, but it was probably the hardest, most traumatic year out of them all. The good news is that it is very nearly over.

It all sounds very much like another case of the quarter life crisis. Another twenty something using the Internet to moan incessantly about the complexities of adulthood. You've heard it all before. Your finger hovers above that grey cross in the corner of your computer. Except, you know that it's not a crisis. You know that sadness, confusion, and terror are all part of the human existence. Is there anything we're not afraid of?

Don't be so dramatic, Shelley. 

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Why everyone hates PRs

Everyone in PR has a bad reputation. We all get some flack for being lazy, or for hounding journalists who really don't want to take our calls. People assume we're all spin, no substance, and that we're simply journalism grads who didn't have the gravitas to make it.

It's rough out there for a lot of us in public relations, and we're constantly having to defend ourselves and prove our worth to everyone else in the industry.

So why does everyone hate us?

Monday, 30 May 2016

Beauty: Paul Mitchell MarulaOil Rare Oil Treatment

marula hair oil image paul mitchell
Rare Oil Treatment - £33.95/50ml

If you have seen me at any point during the last year, you will have probably noticed that my hair has gone from Pretty Little Liars long to Rapunzel long. I'm not sitting on my hair or anything (and please take the scissors to my head before that happens), but I am enjoying the benefits of L'oreal style hair flicks and low maintenance waves. I'm also too pitifully poor to pay for my usual cut and colour at my salon.

That said, I have a lot of hair. It's also no secret that I absolutely despise washing my hair at the best of times, and anything that adds even more time to this process is usually a no-go from me. It's not that I'm lazy (lie), it's that it takes a great deal of mental preparation to deal with washing, conditioning and drying so much hair. Seriously, my arms ache and I'm not Popeye, its a lot of work.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Words on paper

Sometimes creativity abandons its master. A muse wants to be free, and will do anything to stay that way.

Working in PR does little to help this. 

Before anyone launches into full on defence mode, hear me out. I write a lot of copy. I produce my fair share of press releases, blogs and web content, and without much thought there are words on white paper. Black ink in Times New Roman, size 12. I can type until it makes sense, and I can do it in a way which pleases everyone (or at least I hope so).

Typing everyday means that on occasion, words blur together. They don't hold much meaning, and they're just a means to an end. These words serve their purpose, and I start to search for more. Sometimes they come out violently, and at other times, arrive stiff with boredom.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Fragrance: Beyonce Heat Rush EDT

beyonce perfume heat rush image
Over the last few weeks, my colleague and I have been hunting for interns. We've been hand picking the best candidates, and interviewing them. Our third and final intern was secured last week, and I'm pretty sure that apart from her stellar CV, likeable persona and familiarity with the company, that I was instantly swayed by how good she smelt.

About five minutes into our interview, I just had to ask her what she was wearing. To me, it was very reminiscent of the short lived SJP NYC by Sarah Jessica Parker, which to this day is one of my favourite perfumes. I've seen it back in stock recently, but not had the opportunity to get it. Instantly, I was adamant I needed this perfume. It's also quite similar to the fruity perfumes released by Escada every summer, if that's something that floats your boat.

Sunday, 22 May 2016


You cannot see Lady Liberty’s feet, but if you look closely she is actually standing between a broken shackle and chains. With her right foot raised, she leaves behind the oppression of the past.
Some time ago, we held our heads high with empty eyes and we looked away from each other. Somehow, we had become statues of the people we used to be, tall and dignified like monuments watching over old cities. You were as cold as the weather that day, and I noticed that your face was sharp and broken. My mouth was pink and bitten, stained with leftover lipstick.

I stared out of the window, focused on the branches silhouetted against a wide lilac sky. The winter had been heavy and tedious, and they said it was meant to snow that day.

Two hours later, there was no sign of the storm. 

You flicked on the kettle and I waited for words to boil.

Tea, one sugar.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Favourite Yankee Candles

yankee candle image
 Here's a little nugget about me, I have a candle problem. A really big one.

Yes, I am that basic, and do I even care?

Friday, 13 May 2016

The Anatomy of a Lie

Everybody lies, and still, we're always asking why.

Everybody can lie to protect themselves or other people, everybody can lie by omission, and everyone can inhibit the truth.

My problem is that I'm allergic to burying the truth.

I'll admit, I can tell a little white lie if I have to. Occasionally, a lie is necessary. Sometimes, it's sweeter to swallow.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Lessons from Cardiff Dogs' Home

rescue dog image
I've rewritten this three times. I've told different dogs' stories, I've switched pictures and descriptions. Yet, I've struggled to encapsulate what I've really learned from volunteering. I'll try this one last time, and maybe I'll get somewhere.
I told myself I would go back to volunteering as soon as my bones were healed, as soon as my body would allow me to move. I told myself it was an exercise in recovery. After a harrowing few months, I was never going to be emotionally ready. I had to rip the stitches. I would never volunteer for the glory or humble brag, or just for something to do. I loved these dogs, and I wanted to make a difference, even if that difference was five minutes spent at the front of their kennel. Those five minutes can make their groundhog day a better day.
Ellie - Rehomed October 2015

Sunday, 3 January 2016


disneyworld image
I've never been someone who is good at keeping friends. I tend to attract the wrong kinds of people, and the friends that I hold sacred are the ones who have been there for years. The ones who remember the big moments, and kept the little secrets even when mouths tried to betray them.

Everyone will tell you that I like to collect strays. I like to try fixing things that are otherwise broken, and this is what brings bad blood to my door. Eventually these strays would wander, and take themselves to new shelter.

Something shifted, and I soon started to throw aside old baggage. After a year that was otherwise best forgotten, I managed to find trinkets and treasures, something gold to reflect in the dark. Somehow, I managed to find people.

I've never been a fan of the summer season. The year 2015 was no exception to the rule. The summer mocked me with lemon light and stiff heat, and I found myself alone. I had no family close, and old friends were far away.

I Choose Mercy

driving florida image, dodge charger image
In the midnight hours of a Saturday night, I was battling sleep. My eyes were embracing betrayal, defiant in their refusal to let me rest. I wasn't hot or sticky, and I wasn't uncomfortable. I was just awake.

After a few days off work, my insomnia had crept back in and I found myself scrolling absentmindedly through my social media feeds. I was looking for inspiration or lullabies, for something to feed me.

I made some notes on my phone for a smarter than usual essay to write, and then I tapped advice to faraway friends over Snapchat. I kicked my feet from under the covers. 
quotes image

For some reason, I ended up taking the Myers-Briggs personality test. I always enjoy those kinds of digital self discovery which lead to some kind of revelation, whether fabricated or otherwise.

The test itself is your standard formulaic online questionnaire. One question had me well and truly stumped, though. Which did I value more: justice, or mercy?

Friday, 1 January 2016

The Outside

I hadn't been home in 9 months. It was Christmas afternoon, and I was finally making my way back to the house I had lived in, but never belonged in. 

The drive had been difficult, with wind pushing the car across carriageways and empty bridges. I switch radio stations every few minutes until sounds are familiar. I know this drive like the back of my hand, and slip into autopilot. It was only when I reached the outskirts that I realised how long it has been since I had been here, and only because one house has changed colour since my last return. This time it is a shade of maroon. 

The road curves in the same way it always has.