Tuesday, 28 April 2015

That 70's Girl

Trench coat: Mango
Playsuit: Zara (via eBay)
Shoes: Topshop
Bag: Topshop

I originally found this playsuit in my local charity shop but it was an extra small, no amount of stretching it across my chest and sucking my stomach in helped it to fit right. I have never wanted an item of clothing so badly as this playsuit. Cute print? Check. Great neckline? Check. Sleeves? Check check check. Thankfully I found it on eBay and after a nail biting final countdown on my computer in work it was all mine.

Normally I try and avoid buying items that so obviously belong to a certain trend. Trends are short lived and whilst I love a novelty item as much as the next person, most of my wardrobe is simple classic pieces that I can wear all year round. However, this playsuit just had to be mine. It's got that touch of the 70's with the massive flared sleeves and the print, but with the help of my trench I think it all looks a little more classic.


The weather has been on its best behaviour recently. I am pleased because everything seems easier with a little bit of sunshine, including getting up in the mornings for work. But I do feel a little guilty on the weekends when I'm lying in bed marathoning Daredevil and Hart of Dixi on Netflix and not out and about enjoying the sun. Thankfully my neighbourhood boasts the beautiful Roath Park so on weekends my friends and I can eye up the yummy daddy's and fawn over all the cute dogs that are also enjoying the sunshine.  

I'm looking forward to the bank holiday, my mother is coming over from Brazil for five days which I'm looking forward to. She's only been to Cardiff a few times so it's always fun to show her around. It's inspired me to do a mini guide to Cardiff so keep your eyes peeled for that post!

Hope you've all had a great start to your week!


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Saturday, 25 April 2015

Penarth


There's a whole world ready to explore right outside my front door. I sometimes forget how fortunate we are in Cardiff to live by the sea even though it doesn't feel like that all the time.  I normally avoid Cardiff Bay, it's far out from my house and once you've been a few times you've done everything there is to do. Saying that, I'd never walked across the barrage to Penarth so knowing there would be beautiful weather my friend Simone and I decided to make a day out of it.

We did get a beautiful day of sunshine and the walk across the barrage was easy (just 1.1km to walk!), we arrived in Penarth starved and in need of a glass of wine so on the recommendation of a foodie friend we set up shop in Bar 44 for probably the best tapas I've ever had. Thank god they're coming to Cardiff this summer!


Penarth is the wealthiest seaside resort in the Cardiff Urban Area, it was very popular during the Victorian era with people coming from all over the country to visit. It feels very different to Cardiff even though it's so close by. Maybe it was the sunshine (and the large glass of wine I'd had) but it felt like a mini holiday. 

Having grown up in the Middle East I'm very spoilt when it comes to beaches and the kind of weather that precipitates going to the beach. Despite 10 years of living in the UK I'm still not used to this bizarre behaviour that happens with British people when the sun comes out, there were some very fearless people wearing shorts and paddling in the sea. As you can see by the photos I was battling with the wind and the abundance of rocks. I don't know if I'll be coming to Penarth for a beach picnic (I'll save that for an exotic visit to Barry Island instead) but it was so lovely to take a deep calming breath of fresh sea air.

This little adventure has got me excited for more sunshine and more trips away with friends.


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Sunday, 19 April 2015

How to be alone

The thought of being alone used to frighten the life out of me when I was younger. However, recently I've found a sense of satisfaction and peace in spending time by myself. It's a learning curve and you have to ease yourself into it. 

I have a fantastic group of friends who make me cry with laughter every time we're together, but realistically they can't hold my hand through everything. There are times when I am alone and whilst that used to be daunting to me, that's no longer the case. As I've said previously there's a big difference in being alone and feeling lonely. 


Do small things that make you happy

On Sundays get the freshly washed bedding onto your bed, put some relaxing music on, get the kettle on the go, find some of your favourite old books that you've forgotten about and curl up in your bed. I love going through my second hand poetry books and finding my favourite verses and writing them in my journal. It's a collection of my favourite quotes, verses and general personal ramblings. It's fun to read over them and find some solace in quotes.


Exercise

This seems like such a simple answer and people that know me will laugh because I am the least sporty person ever. I hate to sweat and I hate wearing lycra. However, I recently forced myself to sign up for the gym after being fed up of wallowing in self hatred. At first it was a struggle and not fun in the slightest but as I've persevered I've begun to enjoy it and all the things people say about sport making you happy are true. It's the sense of knowing you're in control and deciding to do something good for your body which is really satisfying.


Have lazy days

As humans we love to overthink everything. Some days I find myself thinking about something I said in passing to someone else and worrying how it came across and whether I was annoying or not. I've found since working full time my head is buzzing and full with thoughts. The best thing to do in these situations is to put some candles on and open up Netflix. Lazy days prepare you for the week ahead and there should be no shame in taking a few hours out to marathon your favourite series or re-watch cheesy movies (The Beautician and The Beast, I'm looking at you).


Treat yourself

Life is too short and you work too hard to not buy yourself those ridiculous shoes or to treat yourself to beautiful fresh flowers for your home. Reward yourself for all the hard work you put into the working week. Sometimes getting up in the morning can feel like a battle and it's much better if you can get up and put your fanciest shoes on. Not only will everyone in the office be jealous but you will feel like a million dollars. Being confident in yourself makes such a difference in how you act and how others treat you and if a pair of shoes make you feel like that: get them.


Read

Look at your bookshelf and pick out a book. It can be a trashy romance novel or a book covering your favourite historical era, it doesn't matter just pick up a book and read. Reading allows you to escape into a different world and let you forget your worries. I personally like to pour myself a gin and tonic (slightly heavy on the gin of course) with some elderflower and lemon and settle down reading about strong females who changed the history of the world. If Boadicea can drive around in a chariot and lead a revolt against the occupying Romans I can get up in the morning, put a bra on and get through another day at work.



Take your friends on adventures

This isn't strictly doing things by yourself, but going on little adventures with friends can make you feel more confident and ready to take on the world. This weekend my uni friend Simone and I walked from Cardiff Bay to Penarth. It wasn't a big adventure, it really was just exploring what was on our doorstep but it's amazing the kinds of adventures you can have just by stepping outside of your door. We had a great day and it's going to be a memory that's going to stay with me. The next step from here is being brave enough to go on a holiday by myself.


Go for food by yourself

Going out and doing things by yourself can seem very intimidating especially things such as eating out which is seen as a social thing you do as a couple or in a group. It wasn't something I was keen to do as I was worried about what others would think. I was worried people would look at me and feel sorry that I was by myself. But saying that, since a solo trip to London I love eating out by myself. I always take a book with me but people watching is almost more satisfying, and rather than people feeling sorry for me they talk to me and strike up conversation. 

What are some of your favourite things to do alone?

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