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I am a self-confessed tattoo and piercing lover, but I dont actually have that many piercings…

When I was in secondary school the idea of having a nose piercing seemed so cool but I was a bit of a chicken shit and scared of the pain so I resulted to buying those Claires fake diamonte and places them at the end of my nose. Totally rock’n'roll. And for a few years after my obsession for nose piercing had started to drift away until 2014 I was hooked and got my nose pierced for the second time.

The first time I got it pierced I was 22 and I LOVED the idea of having a diamond on my face (sounds pretty ridic I know…) but in reality it felt very uncomfortable and I took it out after a few months. I got it pierced with a gun and out of 10 the pain was a 2/10 and I think I have a very low pain threshold. A few years went buy and I was obsessing of having a nose ring and I knew it wouldnt be possible to get a thin nose ring straight away but I felt mentally prepared this time. So I visited my local tattoo shop and they used a needle this time – pain was far worse, maybe a 6/10 and the healing process was horrible. I kept getting keloids and nothing would make it go. a year later I gave up and took it out. However we’re in 2016 and since maybe mid 2015 all that has been on my mind is getting a septum piercing and apparently the pain is far worse and I just dont think I would be able to bear it. 

On ASOS I saw these ‘clip on’ rings and ordered them straight away – I’ve worn them to work and they look incredibly realistic – every single person who questionned it has said a. was it painful. b.it looks great! which has obviously left me wanting it done for real! I brought a few more ‘decorative’ ones from Claires – one of my students actually recommended it and I love these aswell however they are slightly more ‘out there’.

I’ve previously done a post on temporary tattoos here – these are my favourite kind! 

Have you had a septum piercing? Or you know anyone that does…? Is the pain really that bad?

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When youre 10y/o you seem to think that you have life figured out. You’re an idealist to say the least and I imagined to have a house, kids and maybe a puppy by the time a quarter of a century comes around. And for some people perhaps that is exactly how life works. However, for me – unfortunately life had some other plans.

I feel like the general working class generation, particularly kids of the 80s got really screwed. House prices went up, tuition fees tripled, brexit, recession and the list goes on. Basically we got f**d over. And this really makes me angry. 

My husband and I both come from families who have lived in London council houses all thier life and we both wanted nothing more then to have a space of our own. Once we were married we rented a very small box one bed apartment with the worst neighbour downstairs for a horrendous amount of money. Practically one person monthly wage. It was depressing to say the least. I hated it and I quickly went into a severe sad and negative state. One wage would go to rent and the other would cover the costs of the food shop and general London living expense. Hpw were we ever going to save? Now prior to moving out I hadn’t saved nearly enough to buy a property, expecially not in London and living with family as a couple just wasn’t an option. All those times I’d come home with Topshop and Zara shopping and my mum said ‘save your money, you’ll need it in the future’ kept coming back to me. Mother, maybe you should’ve have clarified. No, but in all honesty I wish I had saved more. We stopped going out, started making more meals at home (which wouldnt have been so bad if our kitchen functioned properly) and shopped for the necessities. I felt really guilty every time I purchased anything.

So we rented for 15 months and then I just had enough. £18k spent on rent and I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t bare paying someone elses mortgage for a property with tempremental water/heating. 

We decided we were going buy. How and where, we had no idea. But in my mind even if it was a hobbit hole, as long as it was mine. We looked for a long time and I was being really picky (even though I literally couldn’t afford to be) I wanted a 3 bedroom house with a garden and a little picket fence, close to work, close to an underground station – preferably the Central line – close to my mums, close to a primary school if we had kids. Unrealistic as ever, especially with our budget. 

I moved back to my mums and the other half went back to his mums. Our search contined until we came across the idea of New Build flats. I never wanted to live in a flat. I wasn’t keen on hearing someones footsteps above me. But I had to give in as houses were/still are out of our price range. The rate house prices are going at London at the moment, to afford a 3 bed house in a decent location we’d both have to be earning £50k pa minimum and have £50k to put down.

We came across these new builds which were 20mins out of London, more or less Essex area but still counts as London. Sort of. And the company was offering a 20% first time buyers loan. Which basically meant that they pay 20% of the property value to the bank and then you have 5 years interest free to pay them back. For example £250k flat, the government pays £50k and you’re left to pay 5% deposit along with stamp duty and solicitors fee. Which was a little bit more realistic for us. 

The only issue was, we were going to buy something we’d never seen. The property hadn’t even been built yet and we were basing it on a show room. However after all my failed attempts elsewhere, this seemed like a now or never option. So we paid. 

 

9 months later I got a call that the flat was complete. I went and it was perfect. A good size for 2 people and most importantly it was mine. I’m not paying someone’s mortgage. 

 

I completely get that if I didn’t have a partner it would be harder and not everyone has the luxury of living with thier parents for a while to save.

 

One day I’d like to think that London property prices will reduce so that we can move back. I’m a city girl through and through…this suburb life isn’t for me. 

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2017

 

Start of a new year, means a whole new chapter for some. I definitely feel that this year I’m one of ‘those’ people who are in the midst of setting new year resolutions, joining the gym, clearing out the cupboards…etc.

Infact, mine started a little earlier as I actually started going on daily jogs/runs/collapsing on the streets, towards end of December and I managed to amp up my running to 3km, which I know probably doesn’t sound like much but for someone who literally drives everywhere this was a bloody good start. I then went onto joining the gym, there’s one right next to me where I work which is pretty convenient and ideally I’ll spend an hour or so after work and end up missing the evening traffic. I also managed to go to a Pilates class which was completely underwhelming – extremely soft stretching but I was itching to sweat and challenge myself. Next week I’m going to try and build up the stamina to go and do some weight training. 

I also want to spend this year being more self aware and give more time to my well-being. I spend so much time worrying about work, my students, data, result entries etc. that it absolutely absorbs everything that I do and all my energy, therefore giving myself some ‘me’ time is something I need to invest in a lot more this year.

Spending less frivolously and investing money into good quality clothes and accessories instead of fast fashion items that don’t last a while is a huge goal that I think I will aim to manage more this year. I think I’ve started well, 9 days in but there’s a whole 354 days left over. 

Try not to get into into the hype of the ‘blogging’ world – it’s so easy to get sucked into the whirlwind of every blogger having the latest jacket/perfume/shoe/bag and then I end up buying stuff that I really don’t need/want. So it’s time to step back and think whether or not its a necessary purchase. Would I buy the item if it wasn’t on every blogger? If not, then it’s probably not worth it.  I mean, half my wardrobe is blogger inspired clothing items – that’s some influence right?

Overall I need to be more, self-loving, self-aware and self-caring… so let’s raise a glass of water to 2017!

uniqlo-wool-blend-knitwear

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2016.

 

A year full of newness and change. The end of 2015 I left it feeling pretty crap about myself – I was in a very strange headspace, one which I haven’t actually spoken to many people about. So last night I sat down to write 16 things that I’ve done/realised and it was surprisingly really hard. But here it goes…

 

 

*1* Fast forward April 2016, Nojmul and I made an awesome trip to Thailand. Definitely a culture change and it took me a couple days to adjust just so that I could comprehend how big the world is and how privileged we are. We traveled from Phuket – Koh Phi Phi – Chiang Mai – Bangkok and ended with Malaysia. It was my mini backpacking dream and considering Nojmul hates travelling as a backpacker he ended up really enjoying it. 

 

*2* Morocco in October 2016 was another experience, we made some really nice friends and shared some great memories. It definitely brought us together as a couple and for that I hold Morocco quite dear to me. 

 

*3* We brought our very first flat together and moved in late May- and although it’s slightly out of London, I absolutely adore it, so much so that whenever we go away on holiday we itch to get back to our home.

 

*4* I said goodbye to working 4 years in an inner London large comprehensive school and moved to literally a brand new school delivering Built Environment to post 16 students. Completely different to what I’m used however change is always good. 

 

*5* With the above being mentioned, I taught my first ever Electronics GCSE group. I had the same group for over 3 years and took them all the way from year 9 to year 11 – it may not sound like much but carrying a group through to thier final exams was my goal. They really did me proud and we ended on a high achieving the best results in the department, all above national average. Very proud teacher moment indeed.

 

*6* Seeing my nephew grow into a little smart boy and hearing him say new words and develop has been incredible and priceless. 

 

*7* Starting to feel and be comfortable in my own skin is something I struggled with for a long part of my teen/adult life. Only in the last couple of months I’m starting to develop a sense of ownership of my body. I really hope this continues into the next year…

 

*8* I also finally learnt how to cook this year – I cook a fresh/organic meal atleast once a week and I actually enjoy it. My cooking is edible and hasn’t poisoned anyone yet – woo! I still have a long way to go. However considering I have never cooked in my 29years of being alive…this is some achievement.

 

*9* I feel like I’m starting to find my style – I love shoes, I have 110 pairs now, and I love chunky knitwear and anything eccentric. 

 

*10* I still shop a lot – however now I feel like I’m making decisions wiser – well, thats what I keep telling myself.

 

*11* I finally said goodbye to my old A-Class which served me a not so solid 100,000 miles in 7 years, and brought my new car!

 

*12* I have had another year with my parents, I know it probably sounds silly. With my dad suffering a long term illness and my mum has plenty of on going illnesses too, as well as people dying everyday so as each day passes-by I count my lucky stars that I still have them in my life.

 

*13* Exercise is very important for the soul as well as the body and only in the last couple months have I started to appreciate it more – even if its a set of sit ups in my PJs. I always feel so much better after.

 

*14* I’ve started to listen to what my body needs – I used to deprive myself off of sugar / diary / gluten – basically any fad diet. When in fact  I didn’t need to do that, I now listen to my body a lot and if I feel like a chocolate I’ll have a chocolate. Everything in moderation but never starved.

 

*15* Similarly I listen to what my skin needs – I’ve paid attention to my skins moisture levels, the pores, the skin texture and I use skincare accordingly and it’s looked the best since I was a teenager. 

 

*16* Building a stronger relationship with Nojmul – marriage is hard work people. It definitely takes two and for the last year or so I was for sure the selfish one, however I have learnt to compromise, listen, be patient and look at things from the other shoe. 

 

We all live and learn and here’s to another year, to make mistakes, to learn and to challenge.

Roll on 2017

 

 

 

ysl-garden-marrakech

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jardin-majorelle-marrakech-1 jardin-majorelle-fountain jardin-majorelle-cactus jardin-majorelle-seatsjardin-majorelle-window jardin-majorelle-walkway jardin-majorelle jardin-majorelle-marrakechjardin-majorelle-plants jardin-majorelle-ootd jardine-majorelle-plant-pots ysl-garden-marrakech

This is the prettiest garden you will ever go to, also the most expensive and an overrated one. Priced at 70dh for entrance into the Jardin Majorelle and an additional 30dh for entrance into the museum, which is based on berbers, it has nothing to do with the actual YSL. The museum is filled with plants from all over the world and is deceivingly small – with small ponds and fountains so sit buy and take in all the beauty it has to offer. Even though it’s overpriced in my opinion, I would still highly recommend it, mainly for all the instagram shots you can get inside. I unintentionally ended up matching the walls! This post is basically an ode to all the photos I took there! The cafe in the garden is cute but overly priced – however I did go and eat there, mainly because I wanted to experience what the offering was like in the Jardine Majorelle (imagine me saying that in a super cool french accent) and if you ever get the chance to go there avoid having the club sandwich, 125dh for a cold tasteless bagel. Instead opt for a tagine or a salad, the wise people setting on the table next to me ordered what looked/sounded like a delicious tagine, whilst I stared miserably at my cold sandwich. I have no idea why I thought a club sandwich was a good idea, but there you go!

The dress worn is an old Warehouse dress, designed as a midi but fits as a maxi on me, beautiful print and material, literally went on sale a month after I brought it so I was gutted – some Warehouse stores may still have this in the sale section – but currently sold out online.

To get to the Jardin Majorelle we got a yellow taxi from the old town square and it was approx 30dh – however we did have a couple taxis who tried to charge us 75dh. Always negotiate price before you get into a taxi!

You’ll spend about 30mins – 1hr and 30mins, longer if you decide to just sit and relax.

morrocan-palm-trees

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I’ve compiled a list of things that I wish I had found on the inter webs when travelling to Marrakech.

 

TRAVEL:

Old town is a maze – literally. But if you get lost and someone offers you directions – don’t take it. These are the people that know you’re vulnerable and will be walking with you for 2 minutes and in return will ask you for a minimum of 50dh. However, if you see a security guard, shop owner, police officer, these people will guide you without asking for anything in return. In any case, be prepared to walk a lot in and around the souks. You will most likely get lost but the best way is to keep calm, look confident as if you’re supposed to be walking that way. I would avoid the souks during evening time, mainly because its getting late and to get back will become a bit more of a hassle. 

Now to walk to the new town, also known as Geliz, is about 1hour from the old town. Very do-able, however it all depends on how much energy you have left. Yellow taxi are around and you can get one around 10/15dh during the day and 20dh during the night. However as you’re a tourist they will try and charge you double – just haggle before you get into the taxi. Make it clear where you want to go and how much you will pay. If they say no, which they most likely will, tell them you paid 15-20dh to get here, and if they still don’t budge, move on and find another taxi. Young moroccan drivers will charge double/triple, therefore try and aim for someone slightly older. Also for locals, the taxi drivers use a meter but for tourists, the idea of a meter goes out the window and they will try and make the most that they can. So haggle away with a smile. The truth is though, they know we’re tourists, so we’re never going to have the luxury of paying local fares, but it’s a real good feeling trying to get as close as we can!

The square which leads to the souks has a huge bus stand and has many buses that go to Geliz – and they only charge 5/6dh so if you really want to travel on a budget give that a go. Also it’s always nice travelling using the local transport. 

 

EAT:

Moroccan cuisine is full of fresh bread, fruit and meat. I personally adore Kefta Tagine and each place does it different. You can have it with bread, rice, chips or on its own. Old town has some pretty little cafes, however these are pretty much over priced as the only people who eat here are tourists. Geliz town was my favourite place to eat as they had a huge array of food options. Chicken/kebab skewers, pizza, tangines, lots of options which are all affordable. Now if you want to go all out, head on down to Comptoir Darna, food is more on the pricier range. Again full of tourists but you get a buzzing atmosphere – open from 7pm till late, with belly dancers, sheesha and a bar. If you want to feel like you’re in a scene of Made in Chelsea then this is the place to be. 

Starbucks and Mc Donalds aren’t the fast food joints that they’re in London. These are hang out places for the rich and elite who come from 7pm onwards till the early morning and literally just hang out. Now I’m not a fan of Mc Donalds but Geliz had the nicest rooftop terrace floor that I could resist myself. If you’re looking for a sweet treat head down to Dino’s – a short walk from Mc Donalds and they serve up the nicest ice creams – but make sure you actually have space in that belly of yours as the portions are huge!

 

SHOP:

Now I didn’t do much shopping, I wanted to buy a rug but the average price was 1000dh for a small rug – it was almost impossible to haggle down so I just gave up. I did however buy a few bottles of Argan Oil from Atlas mountain which was 90dh – pure Argan goodness. And this leads me onto my next point nicely…

 

EXCURSIONS

We did a couple;

Quad biking – pointless driving in dirt/sand. We had a much better experience in Greece and Turkey. 

The average price was 500dh pp however we met a couple who only paid 200dh for the both of them. You could imagine how we felt. So honestly haggle hard!

We also did a whole day excursion from 9am-4pm, off to Atlas mountains, berbers house, waterfall with a pit stop of for lunch – which you have to pay for seperately btw – even though they make it seem like it’s in the deal. This cost us 250dh pp however the same couple only paid 220dh for the both of them. Those guys are serial hagglers – totally admire them!

We visited the YSL gardens – totally overpriced for what it is, but still quite pretty and the restaurant had really bad food & service. Definitely not recommend. Standard price is 70dh for the museum and an extra 30dh for a museum tour of the berbers (nothing to do with saint laurent) and its a small room, save your 30dh! Also don’t take a taxi right outside the YSL gardens, they will over charge you. Walk further down for 10mins, you’ll save about 70dh that way.

Bahia Palace and Ben Yousseff mosque are definitely worth the visit!

 

STAY

Ok – this is a biggie. All depends how long you’re going for and what you want from your time in Marrakech. If you’re a real traveller at heart and want to see all that Marrakech has to offer, the good and the ugly then stay in a  Riad in the old town. These are small hotels/homes with upto 5/6 rooms. The service is a friendly one, they make you feel at home and its only a tad cheaper. Also I would only recommend staying in a Riad for 2/3nights. Any longer and you’ll get bored and miss being buy a pool and hotel amenities. If you’re staying for 7nights, might be worthwhile splitting your trip into 2 segment, some time at a Riad and the rest at a hotel. If you do opt to stay at a Riad keep the address on you at all times. Most drivers won’t know where a Riad is but will know the road name and can take you there much easily. Hotels are easier to find so you won’t face a problem there. When we went to Atlas Mountain on our little excursions I did see    the prettiest hotels on the mountains with exquisite views – the only thing you’d have to deal with is coming back into town is almost 1hr 30mins drive – but if you really want to get away for a little secluded retreat then perhaps that could be an option?

Overall Marrakech is a vibrant city with quite a bit to do, with good food and good weather. I stayed for 7 nights and it felt too long, a 4night stay is probably the right amount of time I’d say!

Now onto some photos:

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marrakech-old-town-to-souk marrakech-terracota-walls riad-pourpre-medina-marrakech marrakech-pink-door

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Oh hi there little space on the inter webs of mine. It’s been a while, as always. Today I’m back with a new post, one which I have probably mentally written 100 times but have never actually physically written so here it goes…

I’ve just come back from a week long break in Marrakech and I feel like I need a holiday to recover from this holiday. Marrakech is a place like no other. I’ve seen two very extreme sides, and I’m on the fence as to whether or not I’ll actually go back in the future. The souks and the markets sound quaint and quite the adventure however – in real life that is not the case. The strip of where hotels and the regenerated/more tourist friendly area (Geliz) is very much like a country trying real hard to simulate what Europe is deemed to be. 

We stayed in the old town and pretty much got ripped off everywhere we went. Within the first 5 minutes of stepping out of our Riad we were lost and what seemed like a local offering us some friendly directions, was actually an successful attempt of making 50dh from us. We were in the middle of a random alley way, with some morrocan man smiling with his hand out, we foolishly handed the money over and carried on walking. Still lost, but 50dh lighter. At that point I had a bad feeling about the trip but carried on smiling, just incase law of attraction is an actual thing. 

Throughout the whole trip the best money we spent was at the Bahia Palace – have no idea about the history, but it was pretty enough to take instagram photos’ and I guess thats what matters right?

I feel like there is a ‘story time’ kinda video about this trip coming to the YouTubes…

zara-embroidered-skirt

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Frills are bigger than ever and here to stay. Its probably my favourite trend at the moment, frills on sleeves, collars, waist lines. My current love is this Zara frills sleeve top, incredibly difficult to actually photography and show how exaggerated these sleeves are. The skirt is an old H&M embroidered number and I wasn’t at first sure if the A-line mini went with the skirt but I quite like the pop of colour that peeps out. My shoes are an old Topshop number, extremely old and battered but I adore them and will wear them until they absolutely tear. I was given a beautiful JORD watch – they’re sustainable wooden watches that are really well made and crafted – absolutely in love with them so expect a post on them this weekend. Its been London Design Festival this week and I’ve been to the V&A twice – the installations are stunning and if you walk around Brompton Road there’s houses which have art work installed, really worth the the visit!

floral-asos-trousers

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hm-frilled-shirt hm-white-frilled-shirt

 

 

So frilled shirts are a thing this A/W season and I couldn’t be happier. I picked up this shirt from H&M – white with frills and the fit is actually really flattering. There are a lot of variations of these shirts, Topshop, NewLook, Zara, they’re all doing them! The trousers are an ASOS sale purchase, unfortunately all sold out currently but these do seem to be quite timeless all year round. Cigarette trousers which cut at the ankle are the most flattering as they make your legs look longer and slimmer. I wore this outfit to work the other day and at first look when leaving the house I had a split second thought ‘is this too much’ and normally if you think that then the answer is probably yes. However I went with my gut and I’m glad because it was comfortable and attracted lots of attention. I saw on instagram somewhere that theres only 11 Mondays left till Christmas – that is mental! How quick has this year gone! I’m also looking at holidays for next year and thinking Sri Lanka…? It seems like the hot spot for beach and cultural holidays so if anyone has gone and has tips do let me know.

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Autumn is here – for the first time in what feels like months, I’ve finally worn a jumper and it felt pretty good. To be fair it wasn’t even cold, probably around 18 degrees with a nice warmish breeze but  because there was no sun in sight I has the perfect excuse to get my jumper out. Also Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte is back so that means hallows eve is just around the corner, excited much? I went into Homesense today, feel pretty lucky that there’s a Homesense within a 10minute walk from my place, I saw the nicest one seat chair/sofa with a real rustic/Parisian vibe – absolutely stunning but if I was to get it I’d have no where actually to put it – need to find an excuse to justify the purchase. Anywho back to Autumn days and autumnal clothes – I’m obsessed with metallic skirts, I have been for while now and I’ve got a real collection of them. This is the latest addition a Zara block metallic coloured skirt – it’s so perfect. To complete my collection I’m on the hunt for a pure gold coloured one, similar to the last shade on the this skirt – however the search continues. Zara is killing the A/W range at the moment, I literally love everything I see – so much so that I have to restrict myself from actually going into stores. This embellished red Zara shoulder bag is beautiful! The insect detailing seems to be a theme through-out a lot of bags this season and I kind of love it? Also I’m not a red bag kind of person yet something about this bag drew me in. I’m scheduled to film a mother of all hauls this weekend – it’s feel nauseous just thinking about it! The intense amount of guilt probably comes from buying way too much – post shopping guilt is a thing.