My week this week (if you wanna know) + shopping picks!

  1. My poor little pup has faced a double whammy of being without me (some would say this is a blessing… some would need to shove that somewhere rude) as I return to work and of having a really-and-truly nasty cold. His coughing fits shake his whole little body – imagine an actual puppy in a tumble dryer and you have an inkling. Thursday was truly horrible with me having to come back from work, my husband having an uber crappy day, even without a poorly boy at home, and that general feeling of ‘holy f*ck, we’re screwed’-ness. We tried to restore our spirits with a KFC and the Downton Abbey Christmas album on the stereo which worked a treat until pup had a coughing fit and vomited THE LARGEST AMOUNT OF VOMIT I HAVE EVER SEEN onto his father’s shoulder. Seriously. Sometimes it is not better out than in…….
  2. The aforementioned return to work has meant a reprisal of the dreaded commute. Ahh, the shouldering of others out the way and stomp towards the ticket barrier…. Such halcyon days *sarcasm klaxon*. Anyhoo, the commute demands a suitable soundtrack and for me that has been Andy Burrows’ Company, Florence & the Machine’s Ceremonials, and the Dirty Dancing soundtrack on shuffle. What I lack in musical kudos I make up for in complete randomness.
  3. On the subject of music, cult mag NME is now being thrown at commuters along with Stylist and the Evening Standard. This is my new favourite though as the Katherine Ryan column is complete and utter class (sorry for the fangirl-ism). The current issue features a review of the year’s music, film and TV and I would be lying if I said that I don’t feel like a terminally uncool person as a result. Who is Grimes? Or Wolf Alice? Or Swim Deep? I have seen none of the ten films featured (not even Jurassic World which has ‘suitable for a sleep deprived parent’ written all over it) and am only just holding onto my credibility by having consumed the epic Channel 4 sitcom Catastrophe which features in the mag’s TV chart. With this seemingly comprehensive list of what I’ve missed, I might just have catch up by the time next year’s review is out. Mebbe.
  4. I have been living in a very cheap and somewhat cheerful coatigan this week, courtesy of the sales in Primark. I’m not sure there’s anything more depressing than buying from the SALE in PRIMARK but at £7 for a camel coloured oversized cardy-thingy, I’m not complaining too much. The colour and slouchy fit have meant that I’ve worn this in lieu of a coat this week, which has proved foolish for several reasons: first, it is entirely manmade fibre so way too warm in the mild December mornings, and second, it is, essentially, a big ol’ cardigan so in no way warm enough now that proper December temperatures have descended. I wish I could say I am suffering from fashion but I fear Wintour herself would smite me if I dared align myself with the F word.
  5. Want to do some shopping? Me too! I still have loads of Christmas pressies to buy but who cares? Let’s shop! Top picks for a rather girly state of mind and all under thirty quids:


Uniqlo Disney Project Knit, £14.90 (love the grey and yellow)


They All Hate Us ‘girl gang’ bangle, £15 approx. (plus shipping)


Gola floral high top trainers, £28


 Duwop rose eyes palette, £21ring
Diamonique rose gold sterling silver ring, £24.96

Category: Cute, Life, Style
main 2

Accidentally awesome hair

It’s quite a big boast to say that I had awesome hair the other day. Should I made that boast to, say, Kate Middleton or similar (incredibly likely to happen) then I daresay there would have been a fair amount of scoffing. But my interpretation of awesome is somewhat different to them: I don’t want swooshy and smooth; I want dishevelled and Parisian. I want Caroline De Maigret after she’s been caught strolling through the Tuileries on a particularly blustery day. Geddit?

From Caroline De Maigret Tumblr
From Caroline De Maigret Tumblr

The hair gods smiled upon me on Thursday. They felt for my plight in waiting an hour JUST TO GET INTO THE TRAIN STATION and then having to stand on my journey to work before arriving late and realising that a rubbish morning of commuting doesn’’t exempt you from actually having to do some work. The hair gods saw me painstakingly straightening my hair this morning and added just the right amount of heat and windy weather to give me something akin to De Maigret dishevelment as my reward. So surprised was I with my wavy locks that I snapped a few bathroom selfies. Sad but needs must, right?

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The fringe was a bit separate-y, but not too much; the front was wavy but looked intentional; it had that slightly volume-y quality that means you can fluff it with your fingers a bit and it looks sexily messy. This style I could never achieve if i actually tried to do so. Tongs don’t work on my mane as it all just goes a bit frizzy and eighties. My fringe precludes the mermaid waves fashion folk are so keen on. My only hope is to either wear it straight or hope that a similar hair miracle happens. The word i’m probably looking for to characterise the whole look is ‘ratty’, but ‘undone’ or ‘gently tousled’ sounds rather more appealing.

Classy bathroom selfie
Classy bathroom selfie

Undone hair looks nonchalant, easy-going, cool, casual – many of the attributes that ladies who are anything but want to emulate.

Images from Pinterest
Images from Pinterest

As anyone with fine hair will know, all you can really do is try to add volume and hope for the best. It’s difficult to contrive dishevelled without ending up with lank and greasy, attractive as that is. My current tools to try to inject a bit of joosh into my locks are the L’Oreal Elvive Fibrology Double Serum and some Pantene Volume Booster Spray Gel, which I actually picked up in Poundland and have been spraying like mad ever since. I use the latter first, lifting sections of wet hair and spraying at the roots before smoothing the L’Oreal serum on top. Then it’s fun and games with a hot hair dryer and a round brush.

product collage

I know my accidentally awesome hair may not look like much to some but it made me happy. I felt relaxed and French for the rest of the day, and therefore got absolutely no work done at all. Hey ho!

Any pro hair tips to achieve the look every day? Please feel free to share – I need all the help I can get! Photos of me tweaked using Fotor filters & effects. Don’t judge: I was taking snaps on my phone in a toilet.

Category: Cute, Style
baby on board

Asserting my pregnanthood…… and feeling guilty about it

So now I’m just over five months and I have a definite ‘pregnancy’ shape. Huge tum, big boobs – you get the picture. Now that I am more instantly recognisable as being up the duff, it was time to bring out the big guns, otherwise known as the TFL ‘baby on board’ badge.

This little sucker is supposed to formalise my condition and instil a sense of valour in my fellow commuters with the upshot being that they’ll let me have a seat and, maybe, just maybe, not completely cajole and push me until I am like a swatted fly upon the tube train door.

But the thing is that I feel guilty. Every commuter is living their own version of hell whereby the only solace is finding a seat. I hate the idea that I can just come strutting (waddling) up and demand a seat on a packed train. Why? Because I’m horribly British and, perhaps this is the more salient point, I hate it when other people do it. Anyone who jumps on a packed mainline train at the last minute and obviously needs a seat does my head absolutely in. Wait for the next bloody train! I want to scream. Have some self-awareness! Be your own advocate instead of relying on others!

Because this is the thing: if you know that you have special requirements then you have to be the first person to be responsible for that. All through my pregnancy to date, I have never gotten on a train or a tube where I wasn’t prepared to stand for the journey if a seat wasn’t available. I have let tubes sail by and have waited for the next mainline train to roll in, all to secure myself the seat that I need. Is it wrong to expect others to do the same? I don’t particularly think so.

Could a hot man carry *me* to work?
Could a hot man carry *me* to work?

Now that I have the badge, I’m not sure what my stance is. Do I test my new source of power? It seems like that’s going to leave me somewhat disappointed as there ain’t a lot of people out there who won’t do the old oh-are-you-pregnant-sorry-I-didn’t-see-your-badge-until-someone-else-stood-up dance (this comes from the same school of social bad manners as seeing someone you don’t want to talk to walking straight towards you in the street and whipping out your mobile to check messages so, whoopsie!, you didn’t see them). For me, I think my badge will be more of a warning, a little “heads up” to my fellow commuter: I’m pregnant so you will feel bad if you have a seat and I don’t.

Having said that, how much guilt anyone else may feel is completely negligible to my own. As I boarded the mainline train this morning, a particularly terrier-like commuter was doing their best to muscle onto the train first via the three inch gap between me and the commuter in front. I did my best to sound reasonable yet perturbed and asked them not to push as I was pregnant. I was allowed to board the train ahead of them but then felt like a git and let someone else go ahead of me into the seating area so that other commuters could see that I was a considerate traveller. Why, I don’t know. After all, I think anyone, prego or not, has the right not to be pushed and to ask politely that this not happen. But this is commuting, man – regular rules do not apply. Who the hell am I to come along with my long-held beliefs on social niceties and expect others not to crush my knees just because they want their legs open wider than the length of the equator?

I shall continue badge use and see what happens. I suspect that I shall hide it with a scarf or just discard it all together out of embarrassment but let’s call it a social experiment and record the findings, eh? Wish me luck; I’ll probably be stuffed into an overhead luggage rack by the end of the week.

Category: Comment, Cute

Cutesy shit: I’m pregnant!

So I’m pregnant.

Yeah, was a shock to me too.

After a year without protection, I had resigned myself to the camp of would-be parents who invest in ovulation kits and where potential mums take their temperature every morning and lie with their legs in the air after sex. After months of impatience, I was actually fine to wait a bit longer and made a secret promise to get more serious about the whole business once we’d moved into our new flat and had a chance to redecorate and get used to a life of drinking indoors because apparently mortgages preclude a social life.

Well, surprise!

I found out while I was visiting Big Sister in Wales during a rather wet Saturday (I’m not sure there are any other kind in Swansea…..). I’d brought a test that morning during my routine stomp to the shops for Coca Cola after a night of drinking the evening before (I didn’t know, ok?!) and thought I might as well get one seeing as my period has never been late before. The result was, obviously, a shock and I told Big Sister when we were sheltering under a tree while walking Ringo the dog.

Won't be doing this for a while!
Won’t be doing this for a while!

So here I am, nearly 20 weeks’ pregnant and feeling like absolute shit. Oh yes, because that’s what ‘they’ don’t tell you: nausea, tiredness, wretchedness and extreme sense of smell* are all delights of pregnancy, particularly in the early stages. I don’t remember Cameron Diaz experiencing an inability to go into her hallway due to the overwhelming stench of wood in What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

Just like weddings, relationships in general, female friendships, sex, and women’s body image, the collective media have sought to produce an ideal of what it is like for a woman to be pregnant. We all know that when we get huge, we’re supposed to be grumpy and have difficulty getting up from low chairs. We all know that at the beginning we’re supposed to be sick, but in a slightly comedic fashion because, y’know, we are women after all and not really supposed to throw-up at all. Finally, we’re supposed to blossom and glow and become radiant skinny versions of our normal selves just with a little bowling ball belly attached.

We're going to be actual parents: holy crap!
We’re going to be actual parents: holy crap!

If the last 16 weeks have taught me anything then it’s that the perception is complete crap. Ok, let me re-phrase: it’s complete crap for me. Because that’s the other thing that is conveniently not mentioned: every woman’s pregnancy will be different from every other. Some ladies will vomit, some won’t; some will go straight into the blossom-y phase, some won’t. You just don’t know until it happens to you and that’s really kind of scary.

So the things I’ve learned in the weeks since my surprise are these:

  1. I don’t actually feel pregnant. I don’t have a pregnancy-attributable bump yet (I could pass for having just consumed a large meal… and probably have done as well) and it kind of feels like I’m just ill. Which sucks.
  2. I miss alcohol. When we moved into our new flat, the first property we’ve ever brought, I couldn’t celebrate with an ice cold beer (*drool*) or even a little glass of fizz. Which sucks.
  3. Getting a cold is awful as you can’t take any cold ‘n’ flu tablets or painkillers other than paracetamol. The baby suppresses the immune system as well so the cold I got at the beginning of August is still lingering. Which sucks.
  4. It’s scary to tell people. I’ve shared the news with more people now I’m past three months but Tommy’s, the charity that funds research into miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth, estimate that 20% of all pregnancies will miscarriage, and that 85% of those miscarriages will happen within the first 12 weeks. The feeling that just as you tell the world something awful will happen makes me a little reticent to share, and completely paranoid that I’ll wake up one day it will all have been some beautiful, terrifying, weirdly awful dream. Which really and truly sucks.

It’s a learning curve this old pregnancy game and I have everything crossed that, despite how scared I actually am and how unwell I truly feel, everything will be ok. But the one thing I really wanted to say was simply this: for any pregnant women out there, just do your best. You can’t help how you feel but you can help what you do about it. I don’t feel pregnant but I know I am and I will do everything I need to do to the best of my ability. But I will still want beer and eat chips when I know I should be craving a wheatgrass smoothie and eating kale. If you want to judge, then you’re in the wrong place. This is urban pregnancy bitches!

Now, pass me a can of alcohol-free Bavaria and let’s see how long I can sit upright before needing a lie down. Rock. And. ROLL.

Tommy’s funds research into miscarriage, premature birth and still birth, but is also a source of information for parents-to-be. Check out their website at They also offer PregnancyLine where pregnant women, their partners and their families can get advice on healthy pregnancy choices and also seek counselling for those who have suffered a pregnancy loss. The line is manned by qualified midwives. If you need help or advice, call them on 0800 0147 800.

*I cannot even BEGIN to explain how awful this has been for me. The smell of treated wood, trees and plants make me want to hurl and I have had to change bars of soap because the scent has contaminated the entire room. I’m not sure that I wouldn’t take actual vomiting over this. Be warned.


Category: Cute