Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Farewell 2013.

2013 was a weird year for me. There were ups and downs, but generally, I was pretty disappointed with what it had in store for me. There were a lot of good times though, so I'll try and just focus on those in this post. My year included a lot more travel, I visited Greece, Denmark, Sweden, and Paris twice, and I went back to Australia to see my old school friends. I was also lucky enough to go to the British Fashion Awards, which was just amazing, and I met lots of bloggers at various events and meetups!


January is always a quiet month for me, however it started with Bella driving my car round Mayfair with 4 people in the back, as I was too drunk to drive and she was 100% sober. I was panicking so they all sung Christmas carols to calm me down. It was amazing. Hibs had to lie across the three sitting on the back seats. It was one of those nights that reminded me of being a crazy teenager again. 

January was a month for food. I gave you four restaurant reviews, as well as my very own quick and easy Lamington recipe, just in time for Australia Day!


February was my very first blogger meetup! Myself and some other wonderful lifestyle bloggers from Surrey had brunch at Bill's in Guildford, and it was absolutely lovely. February was also the month I went to Bunga Bunga and dropped my £300 camera down the (thankfully clean) toilet. I was so upset I had a cry in the middle of the club, and then accidentally drank two bottles of wine, and had to crash at Alex's then bus it back to my car the next day. It wasn't my finest moment. I also had my alternative valentine's day with Sid and Clare. I think it must have looked a bit odd with the three of us sat in pizza express, Clare and I with a bunch of roses each. We may have told the waiters Sid was our pimp. Awks.


March was a much calmer month, I went to Paris with the girls to visit Ursula, had the 1920's Ball at the RAC, went to the launch of 3 Cromwell, and then jetted off to Australia for a couple of weeks in the sun visiting old school friends.


April I was still in Australia, sampling all my favourite foods, sunning myself on the beach daily, and hitting the clubs with my friends. It was pure bliss! I got back just in time for Diego's huge charity birthday bash, and a week later it was my 22nd birthday, which I spent eating cake at work, before going clubbing with friends at the old Barbarella, which has now sadly closed down *cry*. 


Now May was a good month! It started with the most amazing house party on Cadogan Square, and I was also lucky enough to attend the Fast & Furious 6 premiere in London with my friend Mark. The gang and I had our monthly crazy night out where we all drown our sorrows and forget about everything for a night. Despite what you might think (*cough* Nanny!), I only drink once or twice a month because I'm always designated driver, so when I can drink I just make the most of it.


June was the start of the season, which is the summer months when all the major events are happening in London. We went to the free Muse World War Z Concert, and then there was the ultra epic Great Gatsby Ball at the Royal Overseas League, where my flapper dress came out once again, and where there's a delightful photograph of Lotte shoving cream cake in my mouth. Cheers Lotte. As well as all that, I also had Polo in the Park, Royal Ascot, and a Charity Ball at Sandhurst. 


July was without a doubt the busiest month of the year. It was pretty insane! It started with reviewing Ametsa with Arzak Instruction with the delightful Henry, where I was violently sick (not because of the food), and Henry just laughed and posted it on Facebook. Such a good friend. I then attended Henley Regatta a few days later, feeling much better after a good rest and recover. 

The following weekend was Wireless Festival, where we saw JT, Jay-Z, Tinie Tempah, and heaps of other awesome people. Sadly July was the month I had the worst restaurant experience of my life at TGI Fridays, however shortly after I got to go to the Kusmi Tea Launch in partnership with Birchbox, which was really fun! July also brought with it some good weather, so the girls from back home and I had a lazy weekend catching up. Lux Life's Two Year Birthday was in July, and I attended the London Blogger Meetup where I got to meet loads of my favourite bloggers! 


August I jetted off to Greece for some sun and relaxation with the family. It was a really lovely week, and I took you all with me as I explored the island of Kefalonia. I was then back in London for a couple of weeks, in which time I went to Lotte's Quarter Century Ball, and played a spot of tennis at Queen's Club (jokes...it was the morning after Lotte's, so I watched and ate bacon sarnies). 

My travelling continued when at the end of August, my brother and I flew to Copenhagen for a weekend of food and walking. We got the train to Sweden one day as well, but weren't very impressed with Malmo and Lund. However in Lund I did find the best Carbonara I've ever had, so I'll give them that. Sadly we landed to the news that my wonderful grandfather had passed away, so I took a short break from blogging, before emptying my heart and hurt in this post.


September was a quiet month, it always is. I went on the Sake course at Sake no Hana, and then we went to the Ruski's Tavern Launch. I finished the month in Paris with Ciara and Arabella, we had a really lovely weekend, a nice mixture of fun and relaxation! We went to Montmartre and The Louvre on Day One, and Saint Chapelle and the Cercle Interalliee club on Day Two. I've been to Paris a few times now, and I just love it, there's so much to do there!


October I attended the Cocktail Masterclass at the Kensington Hotel, and I also went on the Cicchetti Trail with the London Restaurant Festival which was really great fun! End of October was the start of party season, we started it at the Tissot 160th Anniversary Party, and had a week full of work events before I took my colleagues to the launch of VQ Bloomsbury


November was a very busy month for blogging! I finally decided to start writing more about fashion and less about beauty. I work in fashion as many of my clients are fashion brands, so it makes sense, and I was just getting bored sick of writing beauty reviews. November was Antoin's birthday at Ruski's, and I also finally got to The Shard and reviewed new restaurant Rextail

I also performed in my last ever concert, and had a very cultural month attending concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Opera House. Claire and I went to Le Caprice for lunch, before going to the Australia Exhibition at the RA. November was London Jazz Festival, so I went to an event in the Spice of Life pub for Alex's birthday. Press events and parties in full swing still, I went to the launch of Barbour's International Flagship store. And finally, I ended the month having dinner at The Athenaeum Club with Desmond Browne QC.


December was slightly quieter than November, but I still had a lot of work events on. As well as work stuff I also found the time to attend the British Fashion Awards, which were absolutely amazing and I'm so grateful I got to go! The Hurlingham Christmas Ball was in the middle of the month, and as always was lots of fun, and then the PHOENIX Magazine Winter Party was the week before Christmas. And finally, it was Christmas. We had a lovely quiet one this year, and I got a couple of new lenses, one of which I tested out on our Boxing Day Walk!

So it sounds like I had a great year, and in a way I did. I'm very lucky to have been to some really amazing events, and I've created some really fantastic memories with wonderful friends. I'm just wishing more than anything that 2014 brings me lots of exciting new adventures to make up for the bad parts of 2013.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Boxing Day Walk.

Merry Christmas all! I haven't done a Christmas post this year, we had a quiet day; we opened our presents in the morning, then went to my Aunty's for Christmas lunch (amaaaaazing lunch, so yummy!), then we opened more presents and watched some Christmas TV, then drove home in time for Doctor Who! 

Today we're just having a day at home lazing around watching films and eating chocolate, but we did get up pretty early and go for a nice walk in Hurtwood Forest to walk off our croissant-filled breakfast. I treated myself to a new prime lens recently, and I'll be upgrading my DSLR to the D5200, on next pay-day, and for Christmas my parents gave me a new zoom news, so this Christmas has been pretty camera-filled! I thought the walk would be the perfect chance to test out the new prime, it's a 50mm manual focus, and it's not reeeeally meant for my current camera, but it still worked pretty well and will be even better with the new camera!

Our walk was rather foggy, it felt a bit like a horror film at times, and we came across quite a few fallen trees on the path so we had to climb under/over them - Dylan absolutely loved it and had a great time!

Sadly my tripod has broken so I couldn't slow the shutter speed down to get a decent shot of the mini waterfall :( I'm hoping they'll have them on sale now!

What I love most about using manual focus is that you can control where you want to focus much more easily. On an auto-focus lens/camera it would have focused on the twigs closest to me, rather then the ones that are slightly further away and in the middle of the frame.

The forest really was eerie with all of the fog, scary!

Luckily we brought Dylan's high-vis jacket with us so we could see him amongst the bracken and fog, he blends in so easily this time of year!

Such a dapper dog wearing his very own doggy bow-tie! It does have a habit of twisting around to the side though instead of staying at the front. His red polka dot collar was kindly sent to him from PetsPyjamas for his birthday back in September.

I hate wellies, so I wore my trust Timberland waterproof boots. They're literally the best boots ever, when clean they can be worn in the city (my colleague thought they were Zara!), but they're also perfect for stomping around in in the rain and snow as they've got a really thick 'walking boot' tread, and are completely waterproof!

After our walk we headed over to the pub for a drink and some pork scratchings. We sat by the fire, and Dylan tried to dry off a bit, before we headed home for an afternoon of food and movies.

Merry Christmas! 
I hope you've all had a really wonderful week filled with family and friends.


Monday, 23 December 2013

A Very Busy Christmas.

As you might have been able to tell from the lack of posting this month, Christmas has been really busy. As in, so busy I've been waking up at 6am for work, going to work, finishing work at 6pm, going to an event, getting home at 1am, then doing it all again the next day...for pretty much the past two months. I'm now ill, and feel as though I'm burning out. Party season has been full on this year, so I'm very excited about having five days off next week to rest and recover! I'm literally just going to sleep the whole time and watch movies all day every day!

I covered some of it in my December Instagram Updates and on Dayre, but here's all of it in one place! 

This month has featured a lot of social and work events, and also a lot of food! I'm too scared to find out how much weight I've gained, but I've basically eaten out at least 3 times a week for the past month. My bank balance does not like me right now. 

How cute are these mince pies in Gail's?! I didn't buy them because I'm not a fan of that type of icing, but they were so cute and I loved the label so had to take a photo. "One for Santa eight for me" - sounds about right!

The eggs benny below was from our team night out to VQ. Ahmagad, so yummy!

Mandatory Christmas cupcake from Hummingbird bakery. The one good thing about us moving offices is that we've moved closer to Hummingbird. Although maybe it isn't such a good thing as I'm in there way too much.... :/

The biscuits below are the most amazing homemade ginger biscuits baked by one of my colleagues. I literally couldn't stop eating them! So moreish! 

This month has also been filled with drinks and parties, the best was definitely Arabella's. Her and her housemates all made loads of cakes and these awesome gingerbread houses!!! 

 My favourite part of Christmas is getting the tree. It's a tradition for us all to go and get it together, and then to go to Bockett's Farm for a hot chocolate and slice of mars bar cake in the tearooms there. We've been doing it for about 10 years and it doesn't matter how old we get, my brother and I always ask to go there after getting the tree!

We also had the young members Christmas dinner at the Royal Overseas League. I say this every year, but they do do a good Christmas tree.

This is our Christmas tree, there's nothing better than the smell of a real Christmas tree to get you in the festive spirit!

Dylan thought he'd help out with the decorating...

And of course what is Christmas time without the Christmas films?!

I took Dylan for a walk, and on the way he was all happy and enthusiastic, and then on the way back he got in a bit of a sulk and wouldn't stay in the footwell or even look at me...

I also had the Christmas Ball of course which I blogged about last week, and after the Christmas Ball I went up to Wales for the weekend for my god-daughter's birthday and to see my grandma. I had such a lovely weekend, it was great to spend a day with my god-daughter, best friend and her hubby, we went to Winter Wonderland in Chester and had great fun. It was freezing cold and raining though, so we all have colds now! Thankfully I got back to my grandmas that evening to homemade burgers and strictly, so that made me feel better and warmed me up!

This is probably one of the best Christmas cards I've ever had. This is Hope the dog, she's my clients' dachshund, and I love her, she's such a cutie!

I can't believe it's only 2 days until Christmas, it seems like yesterday I was opening the first door of my advent calendar! This year has been a bit rubbish, and I haven't done any of the things I told myself I would do at the end of last year, so I'm hoping 2014 will be a bit better and have some fresh exciting new starts, and next Christmas will be a bit more positive and cheery.

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