The Christmas Tag!

 

Hello! Sorry for the radio silence around here, I haven’t been very active on here since my attempt at Blogtober. I wish I could say that I’ve been super duper busy hence my disappearing act but truth be told I just really couldn’t be bothered. I’ve had a lot of ideas of things to write about, to post or to say but I couldn’t put them into words or fruition. Plus I felt like I had a bit of a confidence knock from Blogtober somehow, I felt like I was pushing out below par posts that I wasn’t overly proud of and was just doing it to say I’ve done something for that day.

But HIYA i’m back. I’m ready and raring to go and get my head back into the blogging zone. I must say a very special thank you to the very lovely and the very kind Gillian (who blogs here) as she has kindly nominated me to take part in The Christmas Tag she made. If you haven’t already checked out Gillian’s blog I would really like you to have a little peek, a read and especially a follow now. She’s someone that I came across in the Summer I think and I completely fell in love with her writing style, I love how chatty she comes across, like I’m getting advice and having a chit chat with an old friend. Plus I’ve always got the biggest envy for the clothes and makeup she’s loving or wherever she’s off to with her boyfriend. COUPLE GOALS.

On a side note though, I was super touched to see that I had been tagged to get involved with this post. It probably sounds a little bit silly but it does always mean so much to me when someone thinks of me in this whole blogging biz, especially as I’ve been so on and off with it all recently as well! Plus I really do love doing these types of posts, I love writing them and I love reading ones that other bloggers have done, it’s always such a fun insight into someone! So here goes The Christmas Tag!!

THE CHRISTMASTAG (1)

What is your favourite Christmas candle?

I love the Yankee Candle one Cranberry Ice or something quite mulled and spicy smelling always reminds me of Christmas!

What is your favourite Christmas song?

Wonderful Christmas Time by Paul McCartney it was one of the few that never used to play on repeat when I worked in retail!

Do you stay in pyjamas all day or dress up on Christmas Day?

As a family we all usually get quite dressed up or failing that wear cheesy Christmas jumpers!

What are your plans for the holidays this year?

We’ve got my Nanny and Grandad coming up for Christmas Dinner and are going to spend the rest of the day chilling, playing games and getting very merry.

What is your favourite Christmas movie?

Elf or The Holiday. I love a feelgood movie and I’ve watched The Holiday countless times and still obsess over Kate Winslet and the old man every time!

Do you love or loathe tacky Christmas sweaters?

I LOVE them! The cheesier the better!

Who will you be kissing underneath the mistletoe this year?

HA! I am sadly forever alone so will probably have to make do with a smooch from my pooch this year!

What are you excited for in the build up to Christmas?

The baking! I love making homemade gifts and just general little treats to snack on over the festive period!

What is your favourite Christmas tradition?

Christmas is always a big family time in my household so I always have memories of Christmas time with all the family over with lots of delicious buffet food to feast on all day long.

What is the number one item on your Christmas wishlist this year?

I haven’t really asked for anything in particular this year but I know my sister has got me a notebook I had my eye on for ages so I’m excited about that!

What is your favourite Christmas food?

My mum makes the best chocolate fridge cake that we’ve always had at Christmas time for as long as I remember! It’s got fruits, biscuits and marshmallows in and it’s so lush.

Do you shop the Boxing Day sales?

No, but sometimes I wish I took more advantage of the Lush sale!

Do you prefer to give or receive presents?

I love to give gifts definitely!

What is your favourite sweet treat for the holidays?

Quality street or any generic selection boxes are always a winner. It’s always the orange creme’s that are left behind in my house. I’m not a big fan of Christmas Pudding or Christmas Cake but I do like a mince pie. Or gingerbread!

Do you have a favourite Christmas drink?

Costa’s gingerbread latte’s or a blackforest hot chocolate are lush and keep you warmed up when out shopping all day. Alcoholic drinks wise I love an amaretto sour.

Which Advent Calendar do you have this year? Do you remember to open it each day?

I don’t actually have one this year! There’s just so many to choose from nowadays?! Back when I was younger I had a Cadbury’s chocolate one and a religious one from my Nan and that was it but now you can get gin, prosecco, candles, cheese the list goes on and on. But back when I did have one I’d always be really good at remembering to open the door each morning before school.

What is your favourite holiday scent?

I love spicy scents whether that’s ginger, cinnamon and allspice but it just reminds me of Christmas baking and holiday scents.

Are you one of those people that wish for a White Christmas each year?

Kind of! I have a really shoddy memory so I’m not entirely sure if I’ve ever actually had a White Christmas but it always sounds so magical doesn’t it!?

What makes the holidays most special to you?

Family time and spending it with those you love.

What has been your highlight of 2018?

I’ve been lucky to do a lot of things with my loving family and friends, had a couple days away with my friend to Brighton, I’ve had the support of my family to chase my dreams and do what makes me happy and I’ve seen some really cool comedy gigs with my sister too! Plus it was great having the warm weather in June and July! That feels like a lifetime ago now though!?

Once again I want to say a big, massive thank you to the fab Gillian, show her some love cos she deserves all of the praise and support!

I tag:

Jess

Laura

Ross

Hannah

Hope you all had a lovely weekend everyone ❤

22 Things you’ll know if you come from a small town.

I live in the middle of nowhere. Often when people say that they actually just mean they live at least 20 minutes from their nearest Nando’s and a bit of a walk to the bus stop or train station. But I live just outside of a small touristy town in Dorset, England. It’s often featured on those Instagram travel blogger pages, don’t get me wrong it is pretty and a perfect place  to shoot a candid or a landscape shot, but to me when I see it, all I’m seeing are all the cobbles I’ve tripped over and all the drunken memories I’ve got of us larking about as teenagers.

I’ve always lived in the countryside and have dreamt of living in an exciting big city for as long as I can remember. Don’t get me wrong it was a lovely a place for me to grow up as I never felt unsafe and could play out with my friends all the time. People who live in bigger towns or cities don’t realise the actual first world problems we face on a day to day basis, how utterly headbanging it can be living in the literal cowpat middle of nowhere and how life can be a little bit more like Hot Fuzz than Countryfile than first anticipated.

You can always tell who belongs in a big city and who’s just visiting. 

If you’re in London and you have to check the tube maps then you’re definitely not from those ends. Or if you apologize when someone bumps into you or you bump into them. OR if you actually wait at a pedestrian crossing…Jus saying. I honestly feel like I have mad Arthur Weasley vibes when I’m trying to navigate myself 3 stops on the same Tube line.

Learning to drive is a must.

I live in a village with a few buses a day and a train station in the next town along as soon as I could I learnt to drive so I could do all the fun things you do at 17 like driving all your mates around a Tesco car park at 10pm at night. Learning to drive little, narrow mud splattered country lanes I swear is more nerve wracking than a motorway.

 Manoeuvring around each and every pothole meticulously.

Investing in a 4×4 sometimes feels like the safest option rather than mourn your suspension everytime you drive to the shops.

Planning going out out around buses and train times.

My nearest nightclubs are either in the next town town and is a complete dive (it’s on an industrial estate and they still have under 18s nights, grim I know right) or in Salisbury which is a 30 minute train journey away.  So if we fancy a night of embarassing ourselves in a ‘Spoons we have to either get the last train home at 11, pay a ridiculous amount for a taxi home (honestly feel like I could actually charge someone for a piggyback ride for cheaper) or have to pay for a cheap hotel for the night just so you can get truly Naomi Campbell’d.

Local Newspapers.

Before we got fire, wifi and FaceBook (Y’know the 3 necessities in life) the local paper was like the Facebook of it’s time. It was practically read as gospel. If it wasn’t in the Blackmore Vale then did it really even happen??? No one is born and no one passes away without it being a part of the births, deaths and marriages page. Similarly I have way too much fun having a bit of a giggle at the cringy dating page. Turns out there is a lot of people in my local area looking for a discreet something on the side.

Local Newspaper headlines.

Full credit to some of the journalists who make a living trying to find the biggest, best and most exciting ‘scoop’. The most exciting thing that happened in my town was that someone would move for sale signs and put them in front of someone else’s house. Or when the local antique shop got their giant Punch and Judy statue stolen from their front window. It dominated headlines for weeks.

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Photo credit: @CosRyan

That moment of pure hometown glory when you see it appear on the News or on the weather map. 

Fete’s / Carnivals.

Carnivals in the countryside are a just a liiiiiiittle bit different to something like Notting Hill or Rio for instance. Think of it as a cross between Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, Jeremy Kyle, about 20 tractors pulling floats and about 60,000,000 flashing LED lights.

I mean, I may have made out that carnival’s sound horrendous but it’s pretty much always for charity and LOOK how much fun this guy is having?! You can’t say we don’t make our own fun! And also Health and Safety would have a FIELD DAY here.

Weird Traditions.

Are you even from a small town in the middle of nowhere if you don’t have some sort of weird tradition??? I really don’t mean like some sort of voodoo ritual like you all think us hillbilly folk do but like summer fetes, gardening shows, allotments and carnivals. For instance near Gloucester there is a competition to chase a wheel of cheese down a steep hill. But we do claim Glastonbury in the West country, so swings and roundabouts I guess!?

 

No one ever knows where you’re from. 

I went to a 3 day conference for work a few years ago and the table all took it in turns to introduce themselves and say their name and where they were from. There were the obvious ones like Cardiff, Birmingham, Stockholm (It was a weird mix of people I won’t lie, not quite as iconic as New York, London, Paris but maybe one day it will be who knows???) But then everyone turned to face the little country bumpkin that is  me and I said I was from Shaftesbury in Dorset to which none of them really knew where that was until one exclaimed loudly that she absolutely loved when she saw Cats in the West End and stayed in a lovely hotel just off of Shaftesbury Avenue…

No signal. 

Oh my days this is the bane of my life. I spend about 90% of my phone calls shouting ‘YEAH I CAN HEAR YOU, CAN YOU HEAR ME????’.  I think I might have had full signal on my iPhone at home once. Then I moved my phone by a quarter inch off of my bed and it was gone again.

Literally ever.

It was practically a grand event where I’m from when a shop goes Contactless. God knows what’ll happen when they discover Apple Pay. OR fibre optic broadband.

The old adage goes that in London or any other big city, you’re never more than 6ft away from a rat, well in a small town I reckon it’s the same law of averages about people you went to school with. 

Deliveroo is a myth.

The nearest Topshop, cinema, civilization is about 20 miles away. 

Praise the Lord for online shopping and free returns is all I can say.

More indie shops.

You know me, I love an independently run shop, coffee shop, cafe, restaurant or whatever and smaller towns have such interesting high streets whereas bigger towns or cities can sometimes look all the same, littered with the exact same high street stores.

EVERYTHING INVOLVES COMMUTING.

Traffic.

Congestion can often have a different meaning from a queue of cars, to being stuck behind a tractor or a farmer taking his cows from one field to the other. One slight benefit is that you’ve always got an excuse if you’re running late and happened to be stuck behind a tractor, again. I really hope none of my friends see this because I am ALWAYS running late and there’s always a tractor going slow. HONEST. Ahem.

Everyone knows everyone.

It’s more than likely your friends have dated someone you’re somehow distantly related to.

Pubs everywhere.

Some of them quaint and charming, some of them filled with old men that stare at you as if you’ve walked in with a vial of Anthrax with a pint of local cider.

Country pubs are better than clubs and bars. 

Biased but if you can find me a bar or a club in the middle of London that serves a ploughmans, has a log fire and a cuddly pub dog then HIT. ME. UP.

Everyone is friendly. 

I live in a village that if you pass someone you must always say ‘Hello!’ or ‘Good Morning’ or at least comment on the weather. You look like a bit of a weirdo in a city wishing strangers a good morning so maybe it’s just a small town thing.

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As much as I whinge and moan about the trivial things it really is quite beautiful and will always feel just like home. I can’t imagine growing up anywhere else. And sometimes when you want to take a few moments away from social media, the lack of signal has it’s benefits.

MUCH LOVE.X

 

Blogtober day five.

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I won’t lie to you, I very nearly forgot to post my blogtober day five post. Just when I thought everything was coming up Milhouse and I was in the swing of things I had this thought niggling away in the back of my mind that I’d forgotten something. So you’re getting some unscheduled, completely fresh content right here. Think of this like when a comedian or singer or performer goes off script at a gig, showing their actual, usually proper sweaty personality and it either makes the whole show or leaves you cringing like mad. I’m hoping it’ll be the former and you’ll think I’m even more ruddy cool than to begin with. But seeing as I just used the word ruddy I’m not off to a great start.

It’s currently half past eight on a Friday night you’re probably thinking, is our number 1 hun writing this in an uber on the way to the club????? Well you’re half right. I am well on my way to my second bar. Bar of Dairy Milk Caramel it is for that matter. Yup you’re right, when Kanye West was singing ‘Damn they don’t make ’em like this anymore’ he was in fact talking about me. Alas I am not a cool kid, I am at home slapping them keys on my laptop in front of the telly watching Gardener’s World. 23 going on 80.

I’m such an old aged pensioner at heart. I live for nights in, I’m always wearing knitwear and feel the cold plus I’m crap with technology. Or technology is just rubbish with me. I think the only reason Apple has made so much money is singlehandedly because of me and the amount of wires, cables, plugs and chargers I seem to be constantly buying. Let’s just cut the middle man out now and call it Abble. My phone is so broken it’s laughable now. It switched itself off today whilst full of battery life. When it turned back on again it was all in Arabic. HOW?! It has a mind of it’s own I swear and clearly mine thinks it should be sunning itself on the beaches of Dubai instead. So after about half an hour of Gemma screenshotting the English to Arabic words I needed to get my phone back to settings I could actually read and pronounce we fiiiiiinally did it. If you’re wondering who Gemma is. Gemma is my fabulous blogging friend who has this beaut of a blog just here. I’ve known her for years and I have all of this mad blogging world to thank for coming across her.

I also spent some of today googling where to go on a ghost hunt in my local area. Because I’m not already incredibly barmy enough I thought why not add claimed by a Demon king into the mix cos y’know it’s something to do and something to add to my CV/tinder bio. I’ve always been a bit fascinated by anything paranormal and as I was on the phone to my friend telling him all about the sleepover in an abandoned asylum I was just about to confirm he did remind me that we may either be scammed of our money or dragged around the room by our feet by Caspar the unfriendly ghost. Needless to say it wasn’t booked and will probably just spend our Halloween night drinking gin and stalking people on Facebook we used to go to school with. Something equally as scary I imagine.

When I put into digital words like this it does make my day sound a bit mental no wonder my brain was turned into fluffy marshmallows and I couldn’t remember Blogtober. I’m only five days in and the word Blogtober is already annoying me. It’s not a nice word and its an even more annoying noise. Try saying it…try it. I also feel like I’m really clogging up everyone’s feeds/inboxes and timelines with all my new posts and I feel quite bad about that. I hope I’m not annoying anyone! But I also hope you’ll all be dead British and polite about it all and not tell me the actual truth whether it is getting on your wick. But I’ve gained more engagement and followers in the last five days than I have in the last two months and for that I am eternally grateful. So thanks you absolute babes I adore you all. Especially you. Don’t tell the others ok?

My plan for this post was to write random facts about myself that aren’t like cliche random facts like that I prefer dogs to cats and baths to showers because in my opinion that’s just kinda normal to me. How can you not like a cuddly puppy or a nice warm bath to soak into all night long. But like fifteen little ditties that you might not know, or you might not want to know who knows? Ok here goes.

  • I am 23 years old and I still struggle with my left and right. Embarassing, childlike, random I know all of the above but I get so confused and still have to make an L shape with my finger and thumb with my hands to figure.
  • I am a certified loser and I am totally, ridiculously ok with that. It used to bother me but now it just bothers me that all of a sudden it is now COOL to be weird?! I spent my youth accepting it and now all of a sudden it seems everyone is listening to Morrissey and sinking into a conspiracy theory hole on the internet for 6 hours. K.
  • I’ve never liked my name. I feel like it isn’t really me but I wouldn’t change it because I don’t think people would call me by my new name.
  • When I was younger I used to want to be a banker as my dream job. Not like a high flying city banker on Wall Street. I just wanted to work in Barclays on my High Street. Maybe it was the dashing neckerchiefs I liked or the overriding thought that you got to take home the spare money at the end of the day. Maybe I had a premonition at a young age of what bankers actually do. Who knows.
  • I have been vegetarian since last November and it unnecessarily annoys me that veggie burgers very rarely have gherkins in them.
  • can believe it’s not butter.
  • I think nutella is overrated and overused. Don’t @ me.
  • I am obsessed with stargazing. Staring at the moon and the stars. I think it’s beautiful that wherever you are in the world you and 7 billion others still see the same moon.
  • I am scared of the dark. Whiiiiiiich brings me back to one of my original statements how I’ll be eaten alive by a demon ghost soon.
  • When I was little my nan would always let me and my sister watch Titanic whilst we were staying over. But she’d stop the film just before the boat hit the iceberg. Obvs I am aware of the real story now. 
  • If I had to live anywhere in the world it would either be in Paris or Italy.
  • I am very much a do then think type of person.
  • I very much enjoy deep discussions with people (Idk why the aesthetic is better in a car at 2am) I love deep chat.
  • I am an actually quite a cultured swine and would love to spend my days travelling, going to the theatre and art galleries. It’s not all cocktails and cakes with this bird.
  • I am secretly not so secretly obsessed with a little something I like to call Old Age British Phrases. They usually make little to no sense and you’re not entirely sure what they mean. My nan is a queen of them for instance she’ll say something like Don’t trouble, trouble, until trouble, troubles you. Which literally makes about 0 sense but to her it is gospel.

So congratulations. You’re now in my brain, how does it feel? Invigorating I bet. Thanks for reading all of this it genuinely warms my little weirdo heart having you all in my life.

MUCH LOVE. x

The Autumn Tag!

So I thought for Blogtober day 4 I would write all about my favourite season of them all. I don’t know if you’ve picked up on the idea that I actually rrrrrreeeeeeeaaaaaally do like Autumn. I mean I’ve only been banging on about it on Twitter, Instagram and on here for what seems like a full month now ha! I’ve seen a few blog tags floating around over the last few years similar to this one and seeing as I haven’t done a tag post in a while, I thought now would be as good a time as ever. I’ve taken a few questions from this post from a few years ago on Makeup Savvy’s blog (seen here) and added some of my own questions to it as well.

The Autumn Tag!

What signifies the start of Autumn for you?

It would either be when the leaves start to change colour or when it’s really cold in the mornings and sunny and bright in the afternoons. I absolutely love that weather, even if it is a bit annoying when trying to dress appropriately for it!

What is your favourite Autumn scent?

I really like spicy scents in general but even more so at this time of year. Apple cinnamon and baked gingerbread are always firm favourites of mine. Similarly I also really like the smell of wood. We have a log fire at open and it just smells really good. 

What is you favourite Autumn colour?

I love rich dark reds all year round but maroon and burgundy especially right now.

Are you a fan of a PSL (pumpkin spice latte) ?

No.

What is your favourite Autumn drink? 

A gingerbread latte usually but I haven’t actually been into any coffee chains and tried any of their seasonal drinks yet! I’m super into the sound of Starbucks Caramel Brulee latte this year though!

What’s your favourite coffee shop and their drink of choice?

It’s usually Costa just as that’s the only chain in my closest town but I do like Starbucks gingerbread latte or their seasonal hot chocolates!

Apple pie or Pumpkin pie?

Apple pie. Hands down!

What TV show, new or old are you looking forward to in the next few months?

You always know Christmas is drawing in when X Factor and The Apprentice is back on tv! I don’t really watch either to be honest I’ve not been watching much tv at all recently. But I am really excited that The Good Place season three is on Netflix. I need a Janet in my life!

What is your favorite Autumn fashion trend?

I love an accessory especially a hat. I really want to get a beret or invest in a really nice coat this year.

What is your favourite comfort food to enjoy in the colder months?

I love a jacket potato with cheese and beans. It’s not very classy but it’s my fave!

What is your favourite Autumn activity?

I feel like in the UK there’s not much you can really do compared to like in the US. I might be wrong though! There aren’t any pumpkin patches near me and I’m a bit too old to be going trick or treating I reckon! But there’s a National Trust place near me called Stourhead and it always looks really beautiful in the Autumn colours so we usually make a visit as a family there.

Are you a fan of horror movies?

I like watching them behind a pillow does that count? I quite like thriller films and jumpy ones. I just don’t like blood and gore.

Do you ever do anything fun for Halloween? 

I went to Fright Night at Thorpe Park last year with one of my best mates and it was such good fun. It took us about five hours to get home in the end.

What was your favourite part about halloween as a child?

Obvs getting all the sweets when trick or treating. I was a little chub though so of course I liked all the free sweets.

Are you a bigger fan of Bonfire night or Halloween?

Um I’d probably say Halloween just because I’m not bothered by bonfire night! Lowkey afraid of fireworks as a child.

Where is your dream destination to visit in the Autumn?

CANADA. It looks perfect and like I should be eating poutine and wearing plaid shirts and posing in Banff. Not like I’ve thought this through or anything…..

Do you always forget about the clocks going back?

YES. It confuses me everytime. Although with smartphones you no longer have to worry about manually adjusting the time. I was out at the pub one year when the clocks went back and I’ve never seen so many confused people to go through 1am twice.

When do you usually start preparing for Christmas?

Christmas Eve? I know it’s awful I hate myself for it but I am so unorganised and am usually up until 2am wrapping presents still.

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I’m tagging these absolute huns to take part in this because I’d love, love, LOVE to know what they’d say. And because they’re all absolutely great jus saying.

Laura

Ross

Esther

Jess

Danielle

Gillian

Zara

Michael

Jo

Thanks for reading!!

MUCH LOVE X

Get in Loser, we’re going blogging!

Can you believe it? I’m a bit in shock. We’re three days into Blogtober and I’m still somehow going strong. To be honest I had low expectations for myself and didn’t even think I’d get past day one without forgetting to post on here!  I’m already starting to feel like I’m clogging your feeds with my ramblings. Or I sit here dreaming like what if you all get withdrawal symptoms for me and my daily blogging. What if I never stop this madness and carry on into Blogvember, Blogmas, BlogJanuarySucks, Bloguary? Ok I’m paraphrasing but you get where I’m coming from. I’m 100% getting into the swing of things now so much so I’ve even done a blimmin’ flatlay.  It’s pink themed as well to go along with this post. Am I getting all the blogger points? Can I collect £200 and pass Peggy Porschens Go?

Today to any other normal human is just another Wednesday; another happy humpday. To the much more fetch majority, today is Mean Girls day as this year October 3rd fell on a Wednesday, so I hope you all wore your pink huns.

Mean Girls was the teenage film of the noughties. I still throw as many relevant quotes into conversation as humanely possible.  It isn’t like your usual teen chick flick film it’s full of laugh-a-minute jokes that you can tell isn’t aimed at a usual 13 year old audience but will make adults giggle along too.

I went to a school in the countryside so the most amount of drama we had was when a parrot flew into one of the trees and we were all forced to stay inside the classrooms. As if we were going to go outside and get all pecked to death by a rabid parrot. This is the Costa Del Dorset not Barbados. Mean Girls was like any other teen film to me, usually based in an American high school, apart from things like Wild Child or Angus Thongs. It showed an exaggerated version of reality, with its wild depiction of the brutality and ridiculousness of going to school as a teenager, cliques, fitting in, peer pressure and the likes which teens go through in order to find and stay true to oneself within. It’s beauty is in it’s dark humor that high school inevitably draws out and the common trials and tribulations the younger generation face. The result is a hilarious, well-written/performed film that is unpredictable and my absolute fav Lindsay Lohan film.

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Can we just appreciate my flatlay plz??????

There are so many parts of this film that are so true to life, true to school life and just general things that should be applied to the real world every day. Firstly and most importantly to me is Ms. Norbury’s insistence the girls quit the smacktalking towards each other. I’ve usually been on the receiving end of nasty comments in school so wouldn’t dream of saying these types of things to other girls or other people for that matter. I’ve never really understood why some people see it as a good thing to be seen as a bitch or petty or the like.

Maybe we do need a cake filled with rainbows and smiles so we can all share it, eat it and be happy. I’m fed up of a world where people don’t support each other and would rather bring someone down than build them up. I don’t know maybe I just have too many feelings…

Real friends don’t treat you how Regina treated the other Plastics. A friend is someone who should be your cheerleader, supporting you and cheering you on (unless you’re about to do something super dumb like get a tattoo on your face the day before an important interview or call your ex at 2am) but if they don’t make you feel like Glen Coco maybe they’re not right for you.

I hated that Cady played dumb for the attention of Aaron Samuels. Urgh. I know in the media and films it was never seen as ‘cool’ to be a nerd or a mathlete but that type of thing drives me mad in the thinking the only way to get the guy is to dumb down your strengths. Literally.

Most importantly it teaches you to be yourself and love you for exactly who you are.  As someone who could drive myself mad constantly comparing myself and my actions against others, it’s so vital to remember that, you are you and that is your power.

Via: Tumblr

 

HAPPY MEAN GIRLS DAY BABES X

MUCH LOVES. X

42 things Friends has taught Me.

Good friends will always be there for you, but better Friends will always be playing on Comedy Central until the end of time. Friends is and will probably always be one of my favourite tv shows. It may possibly be one of the most cult watched, quote worthy shows ever?! (ok don’t quote me on that one) It’s a favourite in my household even though I’ve seen each and every episode countless times I still laugh at the same gags and get emotional at the last episode, even though I know FULL well she got off the plane.  Friends first aired over 24 years ago now and it is just as relatable now as it was back then. I’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of things that the show has shown me or made me think about.

  • No one actually did tell me my life was going to be this way. My job’s a joke and I’m broke!
  • And to top that off my love life is definitely DOA.
  • Everyone who watches does the claps in the theme song.

  • Never leave teeth whitening on for any more time than recommended. Here’s looking at you Ross.

  • How to swear at your siblings or friends without your parents or anyone else noticing.

  • how much time you can get off work to sip coffee with your friends. Turns out nowhere near as much as this gang make out.
  • No one in America locks their door. Right, honestly, I know this is a tv show and not at all based on true life but it does irk me when I see it on shows. Like are they not concerned ANYONE could just open their door and come on in?
  • Saying the right person’s name at the altar is very, very important.

  • Unagi isn’t something you have, it’s something you are. I’m fairly certain it’s something I’ve had in YO Sushi too.
  • How easy they make it seem to work their dream jobs. Like Rachel just went from her first job of waitressing in a coffee shop to working her way up at Ralph Lauren. Does this happen in the real world?!
  • Ross, you were definitely on a break from each other not the relationship.
  • It is actually incredibly hard to manouvre any furniture up a flight of stairs, let alone a sofa up a narrow New York stairway.
  • The word Pivot. unless you play a lot of netball games, you probably only know it from that infamous scene. PIVOT, PIVOOOOT.

  • Beef definitely doesn’t belong in a trifle.
  • Does my local Costa Manager leer at me the way Gunther looks at Rachel?
  • No sandwich will ever compare to Ross’ thanksgiving sandwich with the moistmaker.

  • Same with that infamous cheesecake. Food has to be pretty damn good for me to eat it off the floor.
  • Joey doesn’t share food and neither do I. Sorry not sorry. xox
  • You never know when you’ll find your lobster. Whether it be a best friend you’ve only just seen in a different light like Monica and Chandler, a chance encounter like Phoebe and Mike or unrequited love like Rachel and Ross.

  • Rachel made it look so easy to go from waitress to head honcho at Ralph Lauren.
  • How all the outfits worn are still fabulous and on trend to this day.
  • When getting a spray tan, never count Mississippi-ly.

  •  Hearing someone slowly saying OH-MY-GOD and immediately thinking Janice is in close vicinity.

oh my god omg GIF by Nick At Nite

  • It really is impossible to quit the gym.
  • Don’t try and change to fit in with the peer pressure at work. Look at that episode with Rachel smoking with her colleagues on a break. I’m sure many of us have been in that situation we wouldn’t want to put ourselves in naturally.

  • How seemingly easy it is to change your name? Like is this true to real life, can I just skip down to city hall and change my name by deed poll to Princess Consuela?
  • Friends was the sole reason I learnt about the phrase Moot point or moo point if you’d rather.
  • Running like a crazy person definitely makes it so much more fun.
  • If a baby won’t stop crying, try rapping Baby Got Back?

 

  • I would lowkey love to play a game with my friends like in the episode with The One With The Trivia Game. I can be quite competitive and I would get SO into that game.
  • Setting your friend up with your boss will never work.
  • Nor will dating your employee, Soz Tag.
  • If I meet someone called Josh in my head I’m saying it like Rachel. Joshua. Josh-U-a.
  • I bet having your head up a turkey would stink, so, SO bad.

  • Everyone knows a Monica. Motherly, kind, thoughtful, organised AF. I’m definitely not a Monica.
  • It shows that not everyone has the perfect family. They’ve all got their own stories and their own family dramas just like any other normal person.
  • Always support your best ones, even if that means you’ve got to run around and buy every newspaper in a 20 mile radius so they don’t see a bad review.
  • Never lie on your CV. Like when Joey said he could dance and then the director wanted him to teach the rest of the cast dance moves.
  • If the shoes are expensive, they’re probably going to pinch my toes.
  • You don’t have to follow the same path as everyone else around you.
  • Phoebe was always my fav, she was mad as a hatter and completely true to herself the whole time. She may actually be my spirit animal, so I don’t know what that says about me!

  • Some people say looking back now it was quite problematic, moreso with Ross’ character and I can kinda see why. With him not being so fond of Ben playing with a Barbie instead of an action figure, not happy having a male nanny or treating Rachel as a commodity rather than her own person and constantly being a little bit jel. Similarly making gay jokes towards Chandler, fat jokes towards Monica and poking fun at Joey’s womanising was seen as the norm. Whereas nowadays  The show did bring to light a lot of bigger issues especially for the time it was shown from highlighting gay and lesbian relationships with Carol and Susan getting married. Phoebe being the surrogate for her brother and Monica’s infertility struggles. For a lighthearted tv show it covered some really huge topics especially at the time it was aired!

 

What’s your favourite Friends moment or Friends episode? 

MUCH LOVES X

 

I’m Doing Blogtober!

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Isn’t autumn beautiful? It always reminds me of being a child and going back to school for the first time from the Summer holidays. That nervous feeling, holding my mum’s hand as I walked into school for the first time, kicking up the autumn leaves and collecting brassy conkers. Obvs this was way back when I was at Primary School when I was five not when I was heading into college kicking and screaming in the arms of my mother aged seventeen. I mean I did hate college but I’m not that crazy. I absolutely love the crisp, cold starts met with sunny afternoons. The darker nights and the excuse to wear knitwear 24/7. The leaves on the trees going from luscious greens to the richest of reds. The nature isn’t the only thing that changes over the next few coming weeks, in my opinion it’s the perfect time to turn over a new leaf and fall into something new.

So recently I’ve  been keeping busy and looking into furthering myself and doing something fun in the shape of a part time college course. I’ve always wanted to add another string to my bow and become a real Jacqueline of all trades whether that be learning something I think is super important and something everybody should know like first aid or something more fun just for me like cooking or creative writing. Similarly I have taken it upon myself to reignite my teenage angst, and I got bangs. Aka a fringe. Sadly I look more like Alison Moyet in the Hoodoo years than Vanessa Anne Hudgens as I so delightedly showed the hair stylist the freshest of all Pinterest pics of her. Oh well, my hair grows quite quickly so soon enough I’ll be looking more like an emo Chewbacca. More importantly and also the complete point of this blog post, I am hoping to engage in a little something called Blogtober. Which is basically blogging every single day throughout the month of October, how hard can that be right? *wipes sweat from brow after writing 3 lines*.  If my blog and I were in a relationship it would probably be permanently described on Facebook as It’s Complicated or ranting and raving about one another with the inevitable ‘PM me hun captioned beneath.

I thought I’d try and post every single day throughout this beautiful month. I’m hoping it’ll be a bit of a snowball effect and as I keep going the momentum for this will grow and grow. It’s a bit of change from last year where I had decided to give up alcohol for a month to raise money for Macmillan Cancer care. This time round I’m going to spill all my innermost thoughts and feels for a whole 31 days. I’ve seen some people write out eloquent posts with a detailed list of what they were going to post on which day, as you can see, I def didn’t have time for that. Similarly I think the gist is that it’s supposed to be Autumnal and Halloween related ish, but I’m hoping to be posting a whole range of things. So watch this space!

MUCH LOVE.

Honey, I’m home!

 

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Disclaimer: this picture isn’t a picture of my actual house. I wish it was because this house is just adorable. It looks just like a house you’d see on a postcard and I just feel if your house was THIS cute you’d definitely have every other aspect of your life pulled together. Like I bet a Bree Van Der Kampf of the world would live here, baking perfect pies and cleaning perfectly for her perfectly family. Anyway that was the weirdest intro ever, you can tell I haven’t been active on here because there’s no introduction it’s straight into the babble. HELLO you little beaut, I still go here apparently. I haven’t posted on here since June, literally three months to the day that I’ve been neglecting this little slice of heaven. I’ve been pretty absent from social media and well, socializing and getting out the house in general since I last wrote on here actually. I wish I could tell you that I’ve been flat out busy, spending my summer months back and forth from my vacation home in the Hamptons to my villa in Mykonos to spending a few boujiee long weekends in Paris cos ya gurl had a craving for a macaron; like I’m the British Blair Waldorf. ALAS that was not the case. A girl can dream right?!

So since I haven’t informed you all about what exactly the Abbie behind What Abbie Says has been doing, let me take you riiiiiiight back to the beginning of all this madness. So hold tight, grab a snack or whatever I don’t mind..Up until a few months ago I had no idea there was a football hooligan inside of me (minds out of the gutters you heathens, I know I was in Wetherspoons A LOT but I’m not that bad?!) until England Men’s team actually started to do well at the World Cup. Streets were packed full of people, mainly intoxicated, drunk dancing to the beat of Three Lions and for a split second I genuinely believed it was coming home. SPOILER ALERT, it didn’t come home. Well, not to England at least, but to a French home neverthelessSo if you’ve been living under a rock and completely confused by all that above, I am talking about the World Cup. Something of which took over the nation, small talk conversations went from the weather to whether Southgate would put Kane in his starting XI or not (told ya i’m a football hooligan now) and football fever seemed to be everywhere. I was just as shocked as anyone else was at my sudden lust for everything and anything Football, World Cup, Southgate or just generally getting on it in my local pub. Whether it was the endless sunshine, the constant gin IV drip pumping through my veins or the atmosphere of everyone rooting for the national team for once, but I was loving it. I loved that it brought together a sense of pride, unity and for once we weren’t totally crap at something as a nation on the World’s stage.

If you aren’t from England, (omg then welcome???? honestly I always feel like no one reads this apart from like me, my best fren and my family that stalk it) so like bienvenue, herzlich willkommen and g’day mate! For once the UK had an actual summer with a Sun that shone, bright like all of Rihanna’s diamonds, and it blooooooooody shone. I sound like that token brit but I was puffy, sweaty and red the whole of July. There’s hot and then there’s h o tI don’t really cope well in the heat and I felt like a sweaty bag of cheese the whole entire time. As a country it seems we aren’t really equipped for any sorts of weather changes when it’s snowing we go into panic mode bulk buying bread, milk and eggs. Don’t ask me why, I assume everyone makes a last minute bread and butter pudding???? When it’s warm we also STILL go into panic mode, trains stop running, we run out of bbq food and ice lollies and sometimes our roads melt. Things got so bad as a nation we almost ran out of crisps and beer. I think that was to do with the Co2 shortage however but it does sound better like that doesn’t it?! To sum up, Britain runs best at a mild to moderate lukewarm temperature. Maybe a slight breeze like let’s not get too crazy with it, mind.

I’m looking for a job again. It seems that’s all I ever talk about and how I haven’t felt comfortable or happy in a job role in ages, if at all and that makes me feel really sad. I’m desperate to become one of those people that love their job, love their colleagues and actually look forward to going into work in the morning. No one actually tells you when you’re looking for something else that it practically feels like a part time job in itself. First there is the preparing of the CV, writing a cover letter for each individual application, the waiting game to find out if you’ll get through to the one of many interview stages, having a go-to interview outfit, being free and available on the day they want to interview you, answering the cliche questions about how you’re definitely a team player and how of course I would love to get involved in their work netball team.

Literally in the midst of July I decided to actually do something positive and worthwhile with myself this year. One of my passions is writing, or creative writing so to speak and I’ve always wanted to write actual proper books since I was a child. SO i bought a cute little leatherbound notepad and scribbled some ideas down. I’m nowhere near a Lord of The Rings style trilogy just yet though!

If you’ve been to this site before you might notice the layout and the general look/feel of it is a liiiiiiittle bit different?! I’ve decided to spruce it up a little bit. Ya girl over here isn’t the most technically minded, having famously once spent a good half an hour trying to glue something back together before realising it was mouth ulcer gel. I am preeeeeeetty impressed with myself for being able to do this. On. My. Own. I’ve also added an extra few lines over in my About section if you wanted to have a peruse over there. Similarly, I’ll be going through some admin changes on here in the next few months as I’m hoping to think of a different blog name for myself. Simply because there are quite a few other blog names with very similar domain names. Turns out us Abbie/Abi/Abby’s have quite a lot to say? Nothing against these girls at all I just want to be able to put my own stamp on something and not to create any confusion for myself, for them or anyone who follows these sites.

Other than this I’ve been spending a lot of time with my family and best friend doing all sorts of fun things from leisurely lunches to beach trips to going to the theatre to being possibly the oldest people in the cinema when we went to see The Incredibles 2. Did anyone else tear up slightly at Bao before the film started or am I the only one could have sobbed for eternity?!

We are now in September and that excites me greatly. Autumn is lowkey (not even lowkey I blimmin’ love it; is highkey a word???) my favourite season of them all. I adore the cold, crisp mornings with the sun set high in the sky. The fact I can fiiiiiinally wear all my comfy knits once again and pull all the gorgeous autumnal hues out of my wardrobe. Any excuse for me to channel burgundy and khaki colour clothes back into my life again to be honest! Conkers and crunchy leaves crackling underfoot oh and gingerbread lattes. I’m just not a pumpkin spice type of gal! Never have I related more and never has a finer thing been spoken than in the quote I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers” famously uttered from Anne of Green Gables and tbh ain’t that the damn truth.

Which brings me to my final point, I have so much exciting content to be bringing you on here soon. Some stuff I’ve been working really hard on, other stuff came to me at 2am when I had one too many double g&t’s and I thought what I wrote was thought provoking. I mean it was, just in the wrong way. So I hate to leave you on this awfully clickbaity note but I’m going to do it anyway.  Keep your eyes peeled for some humdingers of blogposts in the coming weeks is all I’m going to say for now.

How has your summer been? Have you been up to anything exciting?

Until next time! A x

37 Things I hated about working in retail.

If I was Prime Minister or Queen or Emperor of the World or whatever I shall be called, one of the first things I’d do is banish those ridiculous false eyelashes people stick on their headlights on cars. In what world is that a good look? I’d also add in way, waaaaay more bank holidays and maybe have one bank holiday Friday cos that sounds like a treat and a half. But more importantly, I would make sure everyone would work in retail or the service industry or just maybe deal with the general public for a couple weeks at least. It would be like jury service except that I’d just stick you on a till in Boots for a fortnight. I’ve worked in retail since the age of 16 and good God does it make you lose complete faith in humanity. You can always tell who’s worked in an industry like that and who hasn’t in the way in which they treat those that do.

1.With customers you can get The Good, The bad and The rude. With less cowboys and more buttheads than you can shake a stick at. Some people you can just tell have never been the other side of the counter before so think nothing of speaking to you like you’re an actual sewer rat. You notice that people will complain about just about anything, making you want to take a step back and actually reevaulate all the actual problems in the world because Steve wants to return his Pick N Mix because it didn’t have a very good mix of things in it. ERM. I have no words for this Steve. You picked it N you mixed it so don’t blame me for you being a dummyhead. Also totally a true story. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had customers speak down to me or snap at me or shout. For instance one man told me I had single handedly ruined his Christmas because we didn’t sell gluten free chocolate chip cookies. Good job I’m not bitter about it and moaning still 2 years on…👀.

2. We don’t often get that Friday Feeling you humble braggers post all over your Insta Story. Cos We have to work weekends. But we do often get the joy of a midweek day off which is just great. Unless you want to see your friends who are busy. Working their 9-5 jobs and are free at the weekend. When you’re back at work. K Den.

3. When people assume that you, the 10 hour weekend sales assistant frankly give a toss about the store pricings or the layout or the fact that Susan can’t find the jumpers which were right by the door last time she came in but now there are flip flops and kaftans there yet we only had a 36 hour heatwave in the UK?!?!

4. Promo Change. URGH. 2 words that will fill a retail worker with utter contempt. I used to hate doing promotion changeovers in my store. Baring in mind, I was a manager of a store that has almost as many different sales, promotions and in store events as it had staff coming and going. I would have rather covered my face in honey and stuck it in a bees nest.

5. Actually scrap that. There’s so many different jargon phrases and words that are often flung about; that outside of the retail world I don’t think actually means anything. Promo change, audits, blipbays, planograms, SKUs, ASMs, RSMs, ACT, IPB. It sounds like I’m singing the lyrics to ABC by the Jackson 5 really badly.

6. Working with people who use way too much corporate slang. I worked with a guy who basically developed his own I-only-speak-business-speak-cos-I’m-a-massive-bumhole language. Rather than telling the rest of his team something he would “cascade that information down to his field management team”. Or he’d call you boss or champ. He’d act like he was the wolf of wall street trying to pump you up by screaming down the phone buzzwords at quarter to 8 on a Tuesday morning. Basically he belongs in middle of the sea. On his own. For a very long time.

7. Working weekends or bank holidays. Like I get that this is kinda part and parcel of working within this sector but one Christmas time the only day I had off was Christmas Day and that was just because my shop was closed.

8. It felt like a slow torture method how many times over Christmas I heard Mariah Carey.

9. My store had an instore music system that would play the same songs, the same adverts at the same time everyday. I was in a real life Groundhog day but with more Sugababes.

10. Although one of my secret joys was seeing people, usually blokes, panic on Christmas Eve. I feel sorry for whoever had to open a jar of Cod Liver Oil as a christmas present from their terrible husband one year. I did try and suggest the hand and nail cream set instead, honest!

11. Wearing full uniform and customers still ask if you work here. Nah I’m just a huge fan of this place love! Just like football fans dress up as their fav players I’ve come into town dressed as my favourite shop assistant today. GO TEAM.

12. When you ask a customer if they’d like a bag and they point to their wife saying she’s over there.

13. Serving customers and they’re on the phone is a controversial one. I’ve been in a cafe where I put my phone on mute and to the side of the counter and the woman still refused to serve me until my conversation was officially over. SHOUTOUT TO PUMPKIN RAILWAY CAFE’S. I swear they’re all a load of poop. But I’m not overly bothered or I wouldn’t kick off if someone used their mobile really quick, I don’t really want to make small talk with you anyway but pls just pay with your card and go and don’t make me wait til you’ve finished chatting with your pal to acknowledge me, cos that’s just rude.

14. Customers who want to complain to the manager and PLOT TWIST it’s you. I went from sales advisor to manager in the store I’d been working in for two years previous in the space of about a month. So I could kinda understand how some shoppers got confused how the shop assistant overnight became a manager but y’know I was just as confused. Oh and at the age of 20 or 21 I was the youngest on my region just for my own humble brag there. I know I may have youth on my side Janice but I’m the captain of this ship. Sadly that ship was the titanic BUT I WAS STILL THE CAPTAIN.

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15. Y’know when it’s unbearably hot and stuffy in a shop, there’s no air conditioning and you customers sweat and moan about the rising heat so leave after about 23 seconds? Think Primark in the late 90s early noughties when it was always unbearably hot inside, clothes were strewn everywhere and it looked like you just walked onto the set of Earth Song. Yah someone has to work in that fiery heat. I was that person once upon a time. When I was a manager we had a spare temperature probe for the fridges and I left it on the shop floor just to see how hot it actually was in there. It would get up to the high 20s or 30. Which is lovely if you’re sipping pina coladas on a beach in the Bahamas in that temperature; not so much when you’re working. My area manager said it wasn’t that hot or I should buy a fan. So my training coordinator suggested I dip the end of the thermometer in some boiling hot water so it looks much hotter than it really is, so they’ll have no choice but to buy us top of the range air conditioning. Shortly after he did a surprise visit to come see me and needless to say, he was a bit shocked/surprised/concerned to see we’d been working in 68 degree heat and none of us had combusted.

16. One thing that used to really irritate me, maybe that’s just because I’m easily irritated was that a customer would come in every week and ask for the same thing but pronounce it wrong everytime. Quinoa being pronounced keen wah is a prime example.

17. I don’t know if anyone else suffered this but I used to get people mistaking me and my shop as the tourist information desk ALL. THE. TIME. Baring in mind I still have to double check my left and right with my hands I don’t think I’m the best person to ask for directions to Stonehenge by electric bike, Sir. When I worked in Bath a lady grabbed me by my elbow (I thought it was an odd way to get someone’s attention too but it actually worked) and simply asked me to tell her if she was going the wrong way. She gave no more information. She just said that…Depends, if you’re trying to get to the Roman Baths, no you’re not. Take a left by the man painted silver covered in pigeons if you’re trying to get to Mozambique…then yes ma’am you’re going the wrong way.

18. Customers who try and tell you how to do your job. Urgh get on tills if you really want to help me out Karen.

19. People who make that joke like you’ve never heard it before “hehehehe if it’s not scanning it must be free right???? Hehhehe”. Get in the bin.

20. PEOPLE WHO COME IN TO BROWSE JUST AS THE PLACE IS ABOUT TO CLOSE. I understand you may have been working all day too but we don’t often get paid if we have to stay later. I like you but I like earning money for being in work more.

21. People who complain once they’ve consumed nearly all of their food/drink/whatever. The fact you ate all your food apart from one spoonful even though it was too garlicky??? Your case is now invalid. Go home. Have a lovely life. Goodbye.

22. Whoever made the phrase the customer is always right was wrong.

23. People who complain about pretty much anything they can in general can be so taxing and sometimes they take it way too far. I was in the Lush store near Christmas time in Bath and a couple went IN on the girl serving them both. They were screaming, shouting and the poor girl cried. Looking back I actually kinda regret standing by and doing nothing as I have also been on the receiving end of sociopaths like that. But me and my friend did stick around to see if she was ok and luckily all of her team and her manager basically told the customers to do one. In much more eloquent terms obvs.

24. Having to face up shelves, so they look dead neat and tidy and then someone has the nerve and audacity to BUY something from said bay. You wouldn’t cut a slice out of Mary Berry’s cake before she finished icing it would you?! Also I used to call facing up pulling forward but apparently that sounded dead raunchy for the shopfloor.

25. Loyalty cards. Ok I could literally write a whole dissertation on the drama these things cause. Same with the products we try and sell you on the till or even the 30 billion receipts that seem to come flying out the till at the end with your shopping. I just wanna say as a retail worker and also a customer in shops I totally get how annoying it is to be practically interrogated when you just want to buy some pants. But we HAVE to ask you that or we get shouted it at. It becomes a part of a salespersons routine and script. Where I used to work they wanted at least 75% of all customers to be signed up onto their loyalty scheme and you’d be heavily pressured to ask every single person who walked through their door. If you didn’t or you didn’t get the amount of sign ups your boss would want you’d face a grilling. We are human and know that you get asked that in every shop so please just be polite and say no thanks. Same with getting an email or receipt asking about your service instore that day.Like we get it, it’s annoying we care about whether you have a loyalty card just as much as you do. Believe me, probably even less. A lot of shops and restaurants have taken away the monthly mystery shopper element so the general public can scrutinise your performance instead and mark you down if you didn’t ask them open questions or greet them within the first 15 seconds of them coming into a store. :))))))))))))). That often gives us a commission based bonus which makes up our full salary. Is it any different to tipping a waitress for good service in a cafe?

26. Same thing with coupons that have expired. Most of them have a barcode which literally will not work once scanned past the expiration date so pls don’t shout at me because it’s been a matter of hours since it ran out.

27. I don’t really understand why name badges are a necessity to be honest. Some may say it gives a more personal shopping experience but this isn’t Harrods and you’re not my Mum so you don’t need to beckon me over by my full name like I’m a naughty child.

28. Unruly kids that run around like the place is a playground. Sometimes breaking stuff and the parents just sort of give you that awkward laugh/don’t blame me look.

29. People who think you have any control in this company. I used to get customers asking me to send letters of complaint to head office like I was going to boardroom meetings every Friday. You wouldn’t pop into Currys with a problem with your laptop and ask them to dial through to Bill Gates to see if he knew a solution.

30. Partners that bicker at the till. Pls no. I served a couple that had a full on domestic at the till over whether they wanted a second one for half price. She walked out of the shop in the end. Would loved to have been a fly on the wall in their house later. If she ever returned home that is.

31. When customers cards get declined it actually gives me mad anxiety. I always used to make a joke and blame it on the card machine saying it’s playing up a bit but some people would straight up, look them in the eye and scream their card got declined. AGAIN.

32. Customers to demand you check in the stockroom for a product you don’t even sell. I spend more time in this place than I do at home nothing comes through these doors without me knowing sis. Guilty of walking in there, staring at the empty room, waiting a good amount of time and then coming back out and telling you there’s none in stock.

33. Customers who don’t take off their sunglasses inside. It wasn’t cool when Kanye did it, it’s not cool when you do it in a service station Starbucks.

34. Work colleagues are your fam. Like love ’em or hate ’em they’re there for you. Unless you need them to cover your shifts over a Bank Holiday Weekend.

35. You kinda realise how dumb some people are. Not just some people you work with but the general public. There was one guy I worked with who may possibly be the dumbest/most fascinating person I’ve ever met. He could have a feature length series on either the Discovery Channel or You’ve Been Framed. He never had a dull weekend and would always come in on Monday with a great albeit odd story to tell. Whether that was how he fell OFF a bus and bruised his entire face (it was awful but he looked just like Freddy Kreuger) Or how he was texting a girl he was seeing, tried to type ‘Hello’ but his phone autocorrected it to HELP all in caps lock and then his phone died. He got home and charged his phone to see about 17 missed calls, 20 messages and several v angry voicemails.

36. When a customer tries to give you change after you’ve put through the amount on the till. Like I’m sorry hun I’m not rainman how am I supposed to work out your change now you’ve given me MORE money?! I know you think you’re trying to help but maybe I’m just a bit thick.

37. Customers that don’t clean up after themselves and expect you to *just* do it because you’re paid to. Please ctrl alt delete yourself. Like I know I work here but you don’t need to make my job even more difficult or annoying.

All I ask is that if you read this and you aren’t already, please be more kind, forgiving and mindful of retail staff or service staff. OR just people in general y’know. It’s nice being nice 🙂

BE KIND ALWAYS. X

The Handmade Fair @ Bowood House. *

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The weather has been absolutely glorious in England this weekend and it looks like the sunshine will be staying put for a little while yet which makes me and I’m sure the rest of the UK want to stand up and rejoice!! I was lucky enough to have been invited by Rewired PR to an event at Bowood House in Wiltshire at the weekend called The Handmade Fair. The event was over three days from the Friday to the Sunday and was blessed with the most fantastic, sunny weather. As soon as I heard about this I really liked the idea of this fair. Created by Kirstie Allsopp as a great way to get more people into arts and crafts as well as uniting art, craft and handmade lovers far and wide which I really like. This is the ultimate creative day out whether you want to brush up on your skills from experts or if you want to dabble at something new and uncover a hidden crocheting talent there really is something for everyone. There’s plenty of things going on at The Handmade Fair whether, like me, you’re happy ambling round The Shopping Villages. They’re all bursting at the seams with handmade products and full of people  are full to the brim with handmade products of the highest quality by the talented makers and creators. If that doesn’t tickle your pickle you can always head over to The Super Theatre, Skills Workshops and Grand Makes marquee’s where you can learn a new skill or two hosted by the UK’s most renowned experts. Oh and did I mention they had some magnificent street food vans dotted around too? I could have gone around twice collecting my £200 for passing GO everytime. I really loved how inclusive this event was. Since going vegetarian back in November it has been somewhat tricky for me to find foods when out and about that I really like and get excited by. But there was so much choice here from homemade ravioli, to a specific vegetarian/vegan food truck called Eats Shoots and Leaves (I LOVE a good pun, especially a panda related one).

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Nestled in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside, not too far from Chippenham, sits a Grade I listed Georgian country house also known as Bowood House and Gardens. The Fair was held in the Gardens and you have to give The Handmade Fair team their credit for picking some of the most stunning locations. From Ragley Hall in Warwickshire in May to their later dates of being in Hampton Court Palace in September. Such an ideal way to make a weekend of it by visiting the Fair and spending another day having a nose around the house and gardens!

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My sister and I set off on the Saturday morning just before 10. It was a gorgeously sunny and only took about an hour from my house despite getting a tiny bit lost as I thought I knew better than the directions on my phone. Apple 1 – Abbie 0.  As soon as we parked up and got our wristbands from the desk we practically bounced on inside. The staff on the gates and checking tickets were all so friendly, happy and welcoming, asking us if we needed any help or wanted to know where to start and gladly pointed me in the direction of the RewiredPR tent so I could say a quick hello to the lovely team that made this possible. This was my first ever blog related event and I was feeling a bit anxious/nervous about it all. My sister helped me put my mind at ease and so did the PR team. They were so lovely and I found it really nice to meet the people or the person behind the emails and put a face to a name. So with that I went to go for a wander around the site armed with my phone and my camera as I was worried all my storage would be gone in a matter of five photos and a boomerang.

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My sister and I are both big foodies so were naturally drawn to the Artisan Marketplace marquee. It was like someone knew I was coming as it was filled with delectable sweet treats, cakes and several different gins. Naturally I had to sample them all and I was actually surprisingly taken with a coffee infused dark rum from Cornwall.

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As a lover of gin I can safely say how happy I am that it appears to be really having a ‘moment’ and is the ‘in’ spirit of choice. I know a few people who don’t really like it or find the scent of it quite woody or ‘piney’ in their words. But I think with so many different tonics available, flavoured gins and even flavour pairings you could add different herbs and spices, fruits or even a slither or cucumber to give it a rounded, cleaner taste if the taste of juniper isn’t for you!

From the same stand my sister and I purchased some savoury biscuits which were so incredible. We bought three boxes and they didn’t even last as long as 24 hours from unboxing as soon as we got them home. They were from the same company as seen above called Popti and they may be the most delicious biscuits I’ve tried. I love the packaging it’s so simple yet the choice of bold colours makes them really stand out on a shelf. They have a good variety of different flavours which you could snack on, on their own or even as an accompaniment to cheeses. If you ever come across this brand I urge you to try them they were so moreish and buttery. They honestly tasted like a savoury shortbread or something. INCRED. Also the lady we spoke to was so kind and lovely!!

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I even tried a small sample of moonshine. I did read the leaflet and the gentleman selling these did explain what moonshine *actually* is but other than a delicious and smooth alcohol they made in the prohibition era I still can’t quite remember. I tried one that tasted just like ameretto and could have easily drunk that neat all day long.

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A variety of different cheeses were also on offer and I tried a charcoal cheese which was mild, creamy albeit being rich and black in colour. If you had your eyes closes and weren’t any the wiser you wouldn’t have had any idea I don’t think as it didn’t have that overpowering smokiness sometimes charcoal can give. This type of thing would look great on a cheeseboard. BTW this chap is totally caught off guard but I’m living for the pose I might make that my go to pose in photos…White gloves optional.

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These marshmallows were incredible from a company called Grown Up Marshmallows.  I’ve loved marshallows since I was a child and I love seeing the different flavours or the gourmet ones you can get now. I tried the dark chocolate and raspberry one and it was amazing, it was soft and gooey but still had some chewiness to it. To me it tasted just like a normal, regular marshmallow if it wasn’t for the fact the sign and the lady talking to me said it didn’t contain any gluten, fats or egg I wouldn’t have been any the wiser.

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I’ve never in my life seen so many different ways with garlic as I did on this stall. Garlic butters, different types of garlic mayo, whole garlic bulbs, pureed garlic, garlic oil even to garlic beer?! All freshly grown from their Isle of Wight farms.

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I love these Mighty Fine nuggets of joy so much. My sister got me a peanut butter flavoured pouch for my birthday but my one true love is dark chocolate and it goes so nicely with their honeycomb I had to get this one especially as it was a £1 cheaper than usual shop price. Mighty fine you really are mighty fine.

Around midday we decided to take a bit of respite and get something to eat. You’re spoilt for choice for things to eat whether you want fish and chips, sheeps milk ice cream, gourmet cheese on toast to vegan nachos. You could easily spend all day trying some of each food stall until you burst. Eventually my sister and I decided on a food truck called RaviOllie. I love a good pun me. RaviOllie was born when the chef, Ollie, had spent many years working in top restaurants in London learning every inch of the kitchen including perfecting the art of making fresh and incredible pasta. Taking this love of food and pasta he decided on putting his own stamp on things, specifically ravioli. And I’m blimmin’ glad he did. We had spinach and ricotta filled ravioli topped with Parmesan, cracked black pepper and a choice of different oils.  The pasta was like nothing I’ve ever tried before. It was absolutely sensational. The pasta itself was gorgeous and nothing at all like ones I’ve had in restaurants or shop bought. You could just tell the ingredients were fresh and of good, high quality as it looked and smelt so fresh and vibrant.  The filling was so creamy but not too rich, it was cheesy and delicious and I wish I could have an endless supply for the rest of my life because it is legit the most perfect comfort food.

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bowood x x

Feeling a bit peckish we found somewhere selling a pot of strawberries and cream. But this pot was like a Nigella Lawson style levelled up treat. Like Wimbledon hasn’t got a patch on this. Sweet strawbs topped with a lavender cream, vanilla mini meringues, a homemade gin and tonic jelly and mint leaves. HEAVEN. It was the perfect summery snack on a hot afternoon.

After a leisurely bite to eat and soaking up some of the rays we headed into the Shopping Village tent filled to the brim of everything and anything you can think of when it comes to the world of arts and crafts.

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The first stand right by the door took my fancy. You could buy little wooden shapes and paint and decorate them onto to things to make them look so much more decorative and ornate like this little wooden wreath as seen above. This would lovely if you wanted to design a little photoframe for someone as a gift or put a nice picture or even leave it how it is as a wall hanging. These types of things are so versatile if you wanted to make a scrapbook for someone you could make their name out of letter shapes or if you wanted to make a memory box you could decorate it with their products too. The possibilities are endless.

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I love, love, LOVE these quills that were on offer on one stand. You could learn the basics of calligraphy too as their was a workshop on that too! These would make me feel so fancy and like I was in Harry Potter.

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If fabric working or upcycling is much more up your alley there were several different stands selling beautiful prints and fabrics. I’m a magpie for pretty things, bold colours and prints and this whole section really stood out to me. As someone who would love to be able to make their own clothing I looked on at this like a kid in a candy shop. There was another stand that was teaching people to make their own pom poms which I thought was really cute. They would make such good keyrings or decorative pieces.

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This gentleman was showing an older method of weaving wool and attracted quite a crowd. It was really nice to be involved in a day and an event where people with different crafts, hobbies and skill levels came together to celebrate all things homemade. There is something special in having something that you can say I made this. Or I took the time and actually completed this and look how fab it looks!

Other than blogging I’ve never really had a long term hobby that I’ve actually loved, enjoyed and stuck with (maybe playing the recorder at primary school but didn’t everyone do that?!) So I was hoping when I went along to this I would find something that would take my eye and I would develop a new hobby, skill or love away from technology for a little bit of time per day or week.

bowood xx

I stumbled across this stand selling cross stitch kits and naturally the gin related one jumped right out at me. Seeing as I got this on Saturday and today is now Wednesday and I’ve already taken it out of the box to have a go I think that’s a good start compared to other things I’ve bought with good intentions of doing and never quite getting round to doing.

If you’re a literal magpie for all things shiny and pretty just like me there were these gorgeous rings on display that look so glamorous and elegant. I love the sea themes in the first picture, in particular the rose gold seashell earrings.

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There was so much going on at The Handmade Fair it would be an enjoyable day out for people of all ages. You can book tickets in advance for places in their workshops and talks from the experts and having just had a look on their website for the Hampton Court Palace timetable (here) they have got some amazing workshops lined up from learning to do brushwork lettering to making your own beading hoop earrings. Whether you’ve always had a dream to make your own funky willow bird feeder, sew your own kimono or learn to make butterly origami, along with the help of The Handmade Fair’s exceptional team of experts it could make these dreams possible. If you get the opportunity I would definitely recommend going to their next Fair. I really enjoyed my time here and I’m sure you would do too!!

I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone at RewiredPR for asking me along to this event I’m really appreciative of it and I really enjoyed my day. Thank you so much to all the kind people working at The Handmade Fair whether that be all the staff I met, the staff behind the scenes who made this event come together so well or all the kind creators, makers and bakers I met too. I know I’m not the only one who would say I had such a lovely time! I hope this event gets better and better upon each year with even more people going along to their next one!

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*What I wrote in this post is all 100% genuine from me and my thoughts on it all. I don’t want to mislead readers into thinking I only wrote positive things as I had been invited to attend. 🙂