Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Second Easter in the Peak District

One of the nice things about being in a relationship is getting to experience everything twice. I had two Christmases, one with my family and one with Ian’s, and this weekend we headed up to the gorgeous little village where Ian’s parents live to celebrate Easter.

Starting, of course, with chocolate! This Sainsbury’s egg, I’m ashamed to say, didn’t last the weekend – it was so good!

We rented a car to drive up from London because it was cheaper than the train. We’ve always had really good luck hiring cars. On the morning we left, Ian was in a mad panic because he couldn’t find the paper part of his driving license, so I had to agree to drive. Luckily, they confirmed his details with the DVLA and so in the end I didn’t have to – because the ‘Ford Fiesta’ size car we’d ordered turned out to be somewhat bigger!

I wouldn’t have been happy driving that thing down the motorway, having never driven anything bigger than a Corsa – but Ian was happy!

On Saturday Ian went for a run in the morning rain and I, on the opposite front, slept insanely late, missed all the rain and woke up to glorious sunshine.

We went for a pub lunch at a gorgeous little place called the Broadfield, which is famous for its pies and sausages. I remembered to take a photograph of my diet coke and the menu, but somehow didn’t manage to capture my utterly delicious chicken and butternut squash pie! I guess it was so good that I basically inhaled it as soon as they placed it in front of me!

The afternoon was spent cosily in Ian’s parents house, having family dinner and playing board games. The next morning we slept late again before deciding we probably should get some exercise before lunch.

We drove out into the hills and went for a walk, pausing to look at the spectacular views.

And pose on a rock a bit  (I wasn’t entirely dressed for country walking in my skirt and tights!)

With the weather closing in, we headed back down for roast dinner and a cosy afternoon reading and eating far too many chocolates.

It was such a lovely weekend and it was lovely to get out of London for a bit. Today there’s a tube strike so I’m sitting in the office basically alone – it’s the one day of the year I regret living within walking distance of work! Roll on the bank holiday weekend! 

Friday, 25 April 2014


With so many groups you’re supposed to pick a side. Oasis or Blur? Spice Girls or All Saints? Mcfly or Busted? Why can’t we all just get along, guys?

Well, that’s exactly what McFly and Busted decided to do (minus the conspicuously absent Charlie, still presumably pretending to be cool somewhere with his awful screamo band). They formed McBusted and have since achieved huge touring success across the UK, including a sell out tour at the o2, which I was lucky enough to attend last night with my sister.

We had seats high up in the rafters, so my photographs aren’t great, but the view was actually pretty good and they had big screens up so vision was fine.

I have to be honest and say we skipped out on the warm up acts, so I can’t review those, but we watched the entire main performance…

And it was brilliant! I half thought I might only know a few of the songs, but in actual fact I knew every single one – it just goes to show, music sticks in your mind. The Busted songs took me back to singing angrily into my mirror with a hair brush, aged 15 and over emotional, and the happy McFly tunes had everyone standing and dancing in their seats.

What made the show was that it was a real performance. There were several intervals where the band left the stage, filled with (fairly) amusing pre recorded footage on the screens. During ‘Star Girl’ the band entered the arena on a flying saucer lowered down into the centre of the o2, and beckoned fans around them!

Highlights for me included everyone waving their torches during the pretty ‘Sleeping With The Light On,’ inflatable footballs bouncing around through the irrepressible ‘What I Go To School For,’ and, not surprisingly, my favourite Busted song of all time – ‘Thunderbirds’, which took many people by surprise – don’t go to the toilet when the boys leave the UFO, that’s all I’m saying!

It was a really fun, high energy performance ,and the boys came off as likeable and down to earth, genuinely surprised by the level of interest in their shows. I’m not surprised though -  we danced and sang all night and I would genuinely recommend it to anyone who likes either band! 

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Happy Birthday, Blog!

A year ago today, I sat down, took a deep breath and started a blog. I wanted a creative outlet, a place to write down any old rubbish that came into my head, basically. Over the last year my blog has become so much more than that (although it is that, too!) It’s basically like a little online diary, capturing my thoughts, photos and memories of events – each post is like a piece of time, preserved forever in the pages of the internet, and it allows me to interact with people on a level I’d never thought possible. I really love my new hobby and long may it continue!

To celebrate, here are my top five posts from the last year. Thank you all for reading and I hope there are many more years to come! 

1. Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy - My Response to that Huffington Post Article 

2. 6 People On Facebook Who Should Be Using A Different Website


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Easter Weekend Balcony Picnic

My boyfriend and I have moved flat recently and in doing so have acquired a gorgeous balcony with stunning views of the city and the river. 

This bank holiday weekend I decided to make the most of it – and the generously good weather -  by having my friends over for lunch.

We had cider followed by margaritas generously provided by my friend, and then I served up a little feast…

Several types of cheeses including feta and mozarella. Soft bread, oat cakes (and butter, obviously).  

A selection of cold meats.

Salad, coleslaw.

By the time the others arrived the sun was high in the sky, drinks were flowing and the sunglasses were out!

We had planned to head over to Camden in the early afternoon but ended up sitting on the balcony with our drinks, listening to music, until the sun went down.

Finally at sunset, my boyfriend turned up from his football game and we got ready to go out.

We went to Barfly in Camden and, while the downstairs was a little like watching old people dance at a wedding, the bands upstairs were pretty good and we had a great night.

I’ll definitely be hosting more picnics in the future!  


Monday, 14 April 2014

Instagram: theperksofbeingc8 - Follow me!

So I've finally decided to join the 21st century (is that right? Why don't I know what century it is?! Moving swiftly on...) and get an Instagram account for my blog!

Username is theperksofbeingc8 (Twitter account is perksofbeingc8 - shameless self promotion time, follow that too!)

It will mostly be outfit posts, things I'm eating (#foodsharedontcare) and other random little snippets from my life. I'd love if you would all follow me and leave your links below as well so I can follow you too - as well as letting me know your favourite filters. I'm a Walden girl all the way! 

In the meantime, here's my latest photograph - me loving my new Forever 21 kimono (obsessed with kimonos - they're so cool and easy to style), and my boyfriend looking good in head to toe Topman. 

Happy snapping! 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Benefit It’s Potent Eye Cream Review

On an otherwise pleasant day last summer, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and gasped. I was tanned, my make up was fine and my skin well moisturised but – what on earth was under my eyes? Talk about bags – these were more like suitcases. Too many late nights and early mornings coupled with, err, age (cry) left me running to Boots and buying every eye cream I could lay my hands on.

Nothing, however, has really seemed to help. I found that eye cream was either too intense for my still-not-that-old skin, leaving my eyes irritated and puffy, or did nothing at all and just felt like a completely wasted step in my skin routine. I was about to admit defeat until Christmas, when Santa (my Mum) dropped the Benefit ‘It’s Potent’ eye cream into my stocking, and I decided to give it a go. It’s beautifully packaged – a pretty little jar with a cork top, which I think looks lovely on my dressing table.

This, in my opinion, is the perfect eye cream for girls in their twenties or early thirties – people who have young skin but want to give it a boost. It’s a dream to apply – it feels thick and luxurious, but absorbs quickly and doesn’t give that overly powerful puffiness that some of the anti-ageing creams do. This makes it a pleasure to put on, so it’s not something you slowly start to ‘forget’ to make time for in your routine.

In general, I’ve found it really does shrink the bags under my eyes and makes me look a lot more fresh faced and ‘awake’, even when I’ve been burning the candle at both ends (always). I don’t suffer with dark circles, so I can’t say how it works on those, but it does seem brightening in general. It’s not the cheapest cream in the world, but at around £24 it’s half the price of some of the more expensive creams on the market, and I really do think it works. If you’re in the market for a decent eye cream, it’s worth checking out! 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Sometimes the best weekends…

Are the ones where there’s nothing to blog.

This weekend was so, so nice that I wanted to document it so I could remember it somehow, but really, not a lot happened. 

On Friday night we didn’t go out and I made steak and homemade chips (taken from the Londoner recipe – thanks Rose!) which we ate in front of Masterchef – I’m so happy that’s back, it really does cheer up my evenings, even though the amateur one is never as good as the professionals.

Saturday started with breakfast in bed and then when my boyfriend went off to football, I went to the gym, ate an omelette in front of The Hills marathon, and then watched the Grand National. My boyfriend and I had four horses between us from sweepstakes and even though at various points of the race all of them were ahead, every single one of them fell over and failed to finish – what?! It was fun, though.

I got dressed and met my boyfriend in Leicester Square. We ate at Chipotle – our relationship is based on burritos – then went to Wetherspoons across the road for low key drinks...

...which eventually led back to our flat where we stayed up all night listening to music. 

We should’ve been at a party, but ended up not going, and it felt nice and relaxed and kind of luxurious to just be at home. Is that weird? Am I getting old?!

On Sunday we were both miraculously hangover free and I made a fry up, which we ate in bed, before going for a wander along the river.

We ended up in Mudchute and found a bizarre little park with chickens…

And goats, horses and sheep!

It's really strange the places you can find if you just wander about in London a bit. I'm always amazed by how you can feel like you're in the middle of the countryside, yet blunder out into the middle of the city. Which is exactly what we did.

Afterwards we had a Starbucks and went home and I let my boyfriend watch the football while I cooked us up a Mexican salad (he had his with tortilla wraps).

We had a cider on the sofa.

And then we went to the cinema and watched Starred Up, which was brilliant and deserves its own post, which I will write tomorrow.

One of the nicest, most relaxing weekends in a long time. Roll on the next one. 
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