Are your mid-twenties your make or break point?

It’s the time for finding yourself while trying to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life.

It’s the time for making mistakes but making sure they never happen again.

It’s the time when you essentially have ‘no responsibilities’ but feel like you have the weight of your decisions on your shoulders.

It’s the time for having fun but at the same time, to stop playing games.

No wonder, we’re all friggin’ confused!

Santa Monica beach

Living life carefree in LA on our trip

Your mid-twenties is a bit of quarter-life crisis for most people, I think. Most people are in their first/second job since uni but are still trying to figure out whether it’s the right thing for them while trying to scrabble up the career ladder that is missing a few rungs.

Most people are renting somewhere or living at home still, trying to decide whether renting is throwing money away for the sake of independence or whether to stick it out at the family nest to save up for a never-ending deposit while house prices are still rising.

Most people are in a relationship or heart-broken from a long-term one, where one person (in the middle of their own quarter-life crisis) has decided to call it quits because they don’t know what they want. Meanwhile, there’s always one half in a good relationship that’s trying not to fret over the future while still enjoying the freedom of how things are now, without a mortgage, wedding plans or babies.

Before anyone tells me how doom and gloom I’m being, I’m saying how it is. I love everything about my life as it is now, I feel like it’s an extension of my uni days, with a decent wage and more expensive taste in wine but with the same sense of ‘WHAT NEXT?’

There’s nothing wrong to looking to the future, there’s nothing wrong with having those days where you’re just like ‘Please can I just doze in my hoodie all day and watch my Big Bang Theory boxset’ because urghhhhh, too many thoughts and responsibilities. I guess it’s trying to figure out that life balance of having ‘THE PLAN’ and enjoying every moment of how things are now.

So, if anybody knows how to do that, leave your nuggets of wisdom in the comments…

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Where have I been?

You might have noticed the blog has a new look…

You might have noticed that I’ve been M.I.A since October…

2015 diary and blog ideas journal

People change all the time and I guess life changed even more so once I knew I had a permanent job in an environment I love and with more responsibility.

There are a few of reasons why I stopped blogging for a while:

  1. When you live in front of a screen for around 10 hours a day and glued to your phone, the last thing I wanted to do was to drag my laptop out and come up with engaging content.
  2. Admittedly I’ve felt tired, stressed and I’m still trying to get the right kind of work-life balance but I didn’t want to come across as an ungrateful so-and-so in my blog posts, or a complete misery-guts for one!
  3. My blog started off as a uni project and then grew into a diary I guess, documenting my life to where I am today and everything I went through to get to this point.

I kind of want to start afresh with the blog without creating a new one completely, it’s still very much Essex & The City.

While I’d love the time to be able to incorporate video etc into my blog (the world and I are soooo not ready for my incoherent ramblings) monetising has never been something I’ve wanted to do with it.

I know it’s important to move forward with the times but for me, blogging is something I enjoy, something that’s almost therapeutic and if people enjoy reading what I write, that’s even better. I’m not going to try and plunge into the rat-race that is the blogosphere.

I’m hoping the site looks a little cleaner and I’ve been lucky enough to learn so much in the past six months in terms of social media, picture editing and stats.

Remember how I always speak about life is made up of little chapters? Well, I think I’m on to a new book…

Should you put photos of children on social networks?

Okay so before I begin, no I don’t have any children so I may be slightly one-sided in what I have to say. But hear me out; I understand both sides of the debate.

IMG_0240-0.JPG

We share pretty much anything on social media, which is a little frightening to be honest, if you ask me. While it’s a great way to communicate with each other and be nosey of course, there are some things which you should be careful about posting online.

People love to share pictures of their children on Facebook and not only does it give you a great momento for the future, it also allows you to keep friends and family updated about your little ones progress. It’s basically replaced the “Baby’s Firsts” scrapbook.

However, make sure your privacy settings are set to the strongest that they can be and never set your profile picture as a snap of one of your children. For a start, it’s your ‘social page,’ not theirs and do you know how easily it is to obtain images if you have a moderately open profile? There’s all kinds of strange people on the internet, fishing around for things and you wouldn’t want anyone downloading pictures of your kids (however innocent) without you realising, especially if you overshare with everything else. Think carefully about which images you share, for example, first day at school pictures. It’s horrifying but if your settings are not private, you could be providing all sorts of people with information, you wouldn’t want a stranger to know.

Secondly, does every single picture or video need to go on Facebook? Again it’s lovely for family members who live far away but a lot of people could make more use of private platforms such as google docs or drop-box where you can share files with selected people. Like everyone doesn’t want to see countless YouTube videos on their newsfeed, some of us don’t want to be bombarded with pictures of snotty toddlers. Pretty selfish maybe but should people just upload pictures from special occasions instead?

I do understand why people do get snap-happy, you want to capture every moment and show off your offspring to the world. Facebook is of course an online community and it’s always nice to see mothers calling out for advice of other mothers etc, especially in the first few months where everything’s daunting. Plus I can imagine that maternity leave can be quite lonely at times and Facebook gives you a platform to let off some steam.

We also take the instant sharing for granted. When my two youngest cousins were, we never saw them literally hours old. We went to the hospital a day or so after they were born to visit. Social networks ruin the element of surprise; no one is patient anymore, everything is accessible instantly.

From a memory point of view, it is sad that hardly anyone takes disposable pictures anymore and it makes me wonder how long Facebook will be around for? If it ever disappears, what happens to the millions of photos we share on a daily basis? That’s why it’s always important to keep physical memories for your kids as they get older. You can’t beat the nostalgia of looking through a box of old photographs.

So that’s my little two pence worth in on the debate, what do you all think?

25 Before 25- The Halfway Point!

Hello! Right, as I tweeted earlier this week (@daniellestacey1- follow me!) I haven’t abandoned my little blog, I feel that we’d just started to get into routine and then I’ve gone a bit off the radar. Meh. It’s all because of a good reason though because I’ve just started a new role at The Mirror as a Social Media Assistant, yes I’ve gone to the ‘dark side’ with digital but I’m loving being able to learn more about something that I’m passionate about!

Anyways, before I go off again into my happy bubble, it’s time to recap on my 25 Things to do Before I’m 25 post that I put up in January. It’s a little over the halfway point but a girl’s gotta sleep! I haven’t looked at how many of these I’ve actually done before writing this post so by the end I’ll either pat myself on the back or tell myself to up my game.

Image courtesy of lifesatravel via Pinterest

Image courtesy of lifesatravel via Pinterest

  1. Visit Paris – its on the cards for October hooray!
  2. Take on another sporting challenge-  I raised £260 for my Canary Wharf run back in May hooray!BHF
  3. Camp at a music festival- In my defence, you couldn’t camp at the Great Escape festival. So there.
  4. Get more work published  Reviews in the Sunday Mirror and an exclusive. Boom. Tom_Williams_Review
  5. Visit somewhere in the UK I’ve never been- Hmm…I haven’t ventured far from Essex and the City sadly.
  6. Try different foods (Big step for a fussy-eater!) This one’s a work-in-progress but I’m getting there!
  7. Cook dinner for my family- Does scrambled egg on toast count?! 
  8. Finish a TV boxset- Halfway through Breaking Bad, no spoilers please!
  9. Start saving for the future  Getting there but not enough for a riverside apartment sadly!
  10. Have two mad nights out in a row or go out on a school-night (Deal with the aftermath without complaint) Done! But I did complain a little! 
  11. Experiment more with my personal style (Note to self: You can’t live in floral dresses forever)  Crop-tops aren’t just for size 8s and midi-skirts aren’t just for Grannies. Huzzah.
  12. Host a charity event- Hoping to do Macmillan Coffee morning in September 
  13. Create a collage/photo album of “My Life 18-25″-  Have started this and need to update it so I can use it for comedic reasons later in life.
  14. Move forward in my career
  15. Learn a new skill or take up a short course- Yeaaaaah, I really should learn to cook! 
  16. Stop worrying incessantly about EVERYTHING! Just STOP.- Ha! As if that was ever gonna happen! 
  17. Develop and be consistent with my blog  Ha! Up until this point. 
  18. Face my fear of public speaking- I did get out of doing a presentation at a conference. Oops.
  19. Buy a newer car- I can’t face getting rid of Bella Fiesta
  20. Visit more of London’s landmarks   I’ve had a fair few jaunts around the capital this year.St Pauls
  21. Learn when to say “NO.” You can’t always be Super Girl I haven’t beat myself up as much when I can’t do something, probably because I’m too tired to! 
  22. Be a bit more impulsive  I jumped on a Boris bike and drove through Brick Lane? How impulsive do I have to be?! I’m an OCD organised kind of gal Boris Bike
  23. Start writing short stories again – Find me the 25th hour in the day and I might consider this…
  24. Tick more bands off my Live Gig list Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs, Wild Beasts to name but a fair blimmin’ few! TGE_TheSubways
  25. Be happy with where I am in life and enjoy living in the moment- I’m not going to cross this one off because its important to always do this! 

So there you have, I’m probably halfway through my list, so hopefully I’ll be a well-accomplished 25 year-old although you never stop learning of course!

Balance is the Key to Life

I’ll confess that I had a bit of a mini break-down last weekend, which sounds sooooo dramatic, I know but as most girls will know, every now and again, you end up crying buckets for absolutely no reason. Damn hormones. Well…not for no reason, I guess I started feeling overwhelmed again and gallivanting around everywhere all the time, didn’t really help. There are a few things at the moment that are stressing me out and I’ll be glad once I know the outcome of them (sorry to be cryptic) but in the meantime, I think I’ve been distracting myself by doing loads of things and trying to be Super Girl ha. As usual, I end up feeling ‘burnt-out,’ so this week I’ve decided to chill out more, spend some time with my family and get a few bits and pieces done that I’ve been putting off doing. My little sunshine get-away to Spain on Saturday has come at the right time too!

I find it hard to get the right balance in my life sometimes and I feel at times I’m neglecting some things more than others and to be honest, I’m so busy worrying about those things when I’m concentrating on what’s in front of me, that I turn into a complete and utter grouch. Like I said in my previous post about the art of saying no, I’m trying to get into my mindset that its okay to miss out on things or turn things down because I need an evening monging out in my pjs, watching one of my guilty pleasures (usually a crap chick-flick or Geordie Shore).

So in spirit of my couple of weeks of ‘Me-time,’ although I don’t like calling it that because it sounds selfish but anyhow, here are a few of my creature comforts that I do to relax and unwind. Ah…bistoooooo… Creature_Comforts A nice bubbly bath- You can’t beat a laaaavly scalding hot bath filled with a beautifully-scented bubble-bath, I love Palmolive’s Naturals range (Milk & Honey- yum!) and BodyShop’s Passion Fruit Shower Gel because you can still smell them hours after a scrub in the tub and they’re kind to your skin. I know most bloggers are Lush fans but I don’t dig being covered in glitter.

Pamper sesh- I’m not patient enough to sit there with a facial mask on but I do love a cleanse/tone/moisturise regime. I treat myself to Clarins products every now and again and their everyday exfoliater and cleansing milk is gorgeous. My skin is mostly combination but it can be quite sensitive too and I find that Clarins is not too heavily perfumed to cause irritation. Admittedly my skin is driving me nuts at the moment because I keep getting a few break-outs (I had none when I was a teenager!) so I’ve been using some blemish treatments (Bodyshop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Lotion and Witch Blemish Gel) to keep them at bay.

Snuggly PJs- I’m a sucker for a cute PJ set (not very sexy I know) but sometimes you just need a bit of comfort when you’re slobbing out. Tesco and George at Asda always do really reasonably priced sets and the quality is good. I usually then like to snuggle up in my dressing gown or a blanket with a pillow. I’ve been looking for a couple of quirky scatter cushions for my bedroom for a while now but haven’t really found any that fit my duck-egg/cream theme. Think I may have found a winner with this Layla Grayce one…

Tea & Cookies- Nothing beats a good British cuppa and of course, what goes best with a brew? Cookies! Yeah I know you’re supposed to lay off the refined stuff when you’re feeling a bit under the weather but that’s 70 calories of happiness, right there.

Girly Reads/DVDs- I love buying three or four magazines to read over a weekend so that I can flick through them at my leisure. My fave glossies are Elle, Company magazine, Look and InStyle but I’m gonna wait this week to stock up at the airport for the plane journey. Most of the mags are giving away some awesome beauty mini’s this month. My TV at the moment is being dominated by Sport (good job I’m a fan!) so yeah I’ve watched about 90% of the World Cup and most of the Grand Prix, Tour de France and Wimbledon…I think I’m entitled to a month of trashy chick-flicks! Katherine Heigl is one of my favourite rom-com actresses so I guess it’s no surprise that 27 Dresses is one of my guilty-pleasures, probably because I can relate to the main protagonist Jane’s Type A personality and I’ve been a bridesmaid like 7 times! Don’t get me wrong, I do prefer a comedy/thriller most of the time (currently on Season 3 of Breaking Bad) but sometimes you just need to watch something that doesn’t require too much concentration.

What are your creature comforts for maximum relaxation?

The Girl who didn’t go to Paris

I’m a firm believer in not having regrets in life because I think that sometimes that’s just the way things are meant to go sometimes, c’est la vie etc. However, is there one that you’ve spent the last couple of years or so kicking yourself over? I kind of feel that way with Paris…

Basically, between my second and final year at uni, we had the option to do an exchange year abroad and one of the choices was Paris. I put myself forward, went to all the meetings, pretty much had my place at Sciences-Po and was in the middle of a complicated process to find somewhere to live for 8 months but then…I bottled it.

Image courtesy of Anirudh Koul via Flickr

Image courtesy of Anirudh Koul via Flickr

The U-turn came about when I was ‘stuck’ in Spain for a week longer than I should have been (remember the Icelandic volcano?) and although I was staying with family, I suddenly went into a complete and utter melt-down about how I’d cope being pretty much on my own in a different country, where the first language wasn’t my mother-tongue (even though I’d been learning French since the age of 11) and how terribly home-sick I’d get, despite only being across the channel. I was being sent tenancy contracts that were entirely in French (go figure) but I kind of became overwhelmed by everything and I thought that the change would probably give me a nervous break-down and I’d end up back home within 3 months.

Part of me now is telling my 19 year old self to stop being such a baby because it’s such a good opportunity but there’s no use in beating myself up over it. Some things are meant to be and I know I just wasn’t ready to take the plunge. By that point, it was also too late to change my destination and instead go to Australia with my two awesome girls Kiki and Sally (yeah another kick, right there) but then again, I didn’t have as many hangovers in my last year haha! I’m kidding, I missed them both terribly.

I know people move out at 18 and go away to uni and they deal with it just fine but at the time, it just wasn’t for me. I justified my decision by saying it was okay because within another year I’d be done with uni forever and then I could go to Paris whenever I wanted and enjoy it from a tourist’s point of view, without studying and fending for myself. Would I do it now? Probably not and part of me wouldn’t change anything because I obviously needed another year or so to feel ‘more grown-up.’ I might be the girl who didn’t go to Paris but since graduating, I’ve done some pretty awesome things so far.

Three years on from graduation and I still haven’t been to Paris but hopefully that’s all about to change because we’re looking to take a trip to the city that I’ve put on a pedestal for the last few years, in September.

I’m obsessed with anything Parisian so I’m hoping that it lives up to my expectations (sadly had people tell me otherwise) but if anyone has any tips/advice on where to stay for a couple of nights, which touristy things are worth doing etc, that’d be très super!

Merci beaucoup!

Babies Before Career?

So the whole babies before career debate has been sparked up again, thanks to Kirstie Allsopp’s interview with The Telegraph.

Babies Before Career? Photo courtesy of kidspot.com

Babies Before Career? Photo courtesy of kidspot.com

In light of the whole charade, I posted a Facebook status and a Tweet asking people what they thought about the debate and to my surprise, a lot of guys gave their thoughts. Some of you may think that the whole debate has nothing to do with men but it was interesting to hear that many were in support of it being an individualistic idea.

 “I just don’t think it’s that clear cut for everybody. It’s a very individualistic idea! Depends on what kind of career a person wants and how important it is for them to have children. Personally, I have never been very “career focused” and think family is important. Having kids is an amazing thing, but only if you’re ready. So again it really depends on the individual.”

 “My partner and I currently have 2 children under the age of 4 I work full time and she’s at uni studying to be a teacher. I would definitely agree that I don’t believe it’s something you can decide on a whim. There is so many factors to consider. For instance if you’ve not met the person you wish to settle down and have kids with then you have no choice but to start a career. Then make the choice when it presents itself to you. At the same time I can see how a 40 something year old women speaking with hindsight would be the best person to get advice on the matter from!”

I think many people who know me probably think that this post would be more of a ‘feminist rant,’ because admittedly I’m not very maternal…right now. Sure I’d like kids in the future (hear that, that’s the sound of my family and friends falling over with shock) but I think it is down to an individual’s circumstances.

My parents were married and had a house at the age of 21 before they had me at 24 and my brother at 27. Sure, I’d love to be like them and I think a lot of us would like to buy in to the old-fashioned romantic notion of marrying your childhood sweetheart but this is 2014 and it doesn’t happen like that anymore.

I think Kirstie is highly presumptuous that most of us will ‘find a nice chap’ to settle down with in our late teens/early twenties. As many of us know, it’s hard to get out of the whole ‘Are we or aren’t we in a relationship?’ conundrum, let alone persuade them to put a ring on it. And to be honest, a lot of women want a stable relationship before procreating with any Tom, Dick or Harry AND with more people taking the university route in this day and age, having children later in life is all too common.

Having a career before babies can mean a foot on the ladder so that you can save up for a house or have a bit more financial stability. Graduates do tend to earn more money in the long-run as well. Of course, there’s always the theory that your twenties are for “finding yourself,” or travelling and with a baby in tow, that’s not always easy. At this moment in time, my stance is I would want to feel stable in my job, in my relationship and have a place to live before having children. Again, what works for some doesn’t work for others.

In support of Kirstie’s stance though; of course you can have a career after having children. My own Mum chose to have children first and has worked her way up the ladder and is even doing an Open University course in her spare time to better her career further. The upside is that my brother and I are in our twenties working and there’s no need for her to worry about childcare etc. There are so many opportunities for parents now to work from home, work part-time or in the industry that I work in, freelance while on maternity leave to keep yourself ticking over. The downside is that many laws that surround maternity leave are in serious need of updating and I agree that companies should be more flexible in terms of helping women combine their workload with motherhood.

As one of my friends commented on Facebook: “I am certainly glad I had my children before I am 30, so I can run and play etc. But it has left me unable to do work experience because we can’t afford the childcare it would cost for me to do free work, which of course makes it very hard to find a job in the industry I would like to be in.”

Kirstie also has a point in terms of bearing the ol’ biological clock in mind. Research has shown that your fertility starts to dip from the age of 25 (how depressing) with conception being more difficult for women aged 35+. Before you start winking at your other half, again its down to an individual circumstances, you don’t know until you start trying and for all you know, you may be as ripe as a tomato until you’re in your early 40s.

Another of my friends added: “As a woman over 40 who wanted to do well in good job and had a baby late I can say career is less tiring and in some ways easier than motherhood, however much you want it. Kirstie was right on this point: Nature is not a feminist. It is a lot harder to get pregnant over 35.

” But it is nonsense for anyone to suggest there is that much choice: you can be broody at 19 but what happens if you don’t meet the right bloke/don’t feel ready for parenthood?”

Exactly.

As women we put each other and ourselves under enormous amounts of pressure to do this, do that. Instead of digging our claws into each other, show support for each other’s choices in life.

Social media also has a lot to answer to, in terms of everyone obsessing over what everyone else is doing. “Everyone’s getting married and having babies, what do I have?!” You, my friend, have a kick-arse job and are having fun finding ‘Mr Right.’

So, to end my little spiel, do whatever you damn well please, when you want and when it’s right for you.

The Art of Saying “No”

No, Non, Nein, Nee, Niet…it’s a simple little word so why is it so hard to say sometimes?

As part of my 25 Before 25 list, I’m trying to learn the art of when to say ‘no’ to things and erase the consequential ‘guilt’ I feel afterwards when I do so. I mean in the sense of doing things that go a little bit above and beyond and it’s hard because I want to be as helpful as possible to everyone. Some might call it ‘people-pleasing’ and maybe there is an underlying sense of wanting to be liked and feeling like everyone can rely on you. Admittedly it does become a bit tiresome when people then expect the ‘super-girl’ routine from you and you then feel like you’re massively disappointing them when you don’t immediately jump to it. I suppose in a way I’ve created my own little cycle that I find hard to get out of.

 

Photo courtesy of Pinterest via Media Web Apps

Photo courtesy of Pinterest via Media Web Apps

I also feel like I have to reply to emails straight away and it makes me uneasy if I have a full inbox of unread messages but I am starting to realise that it’s okay to make people wait. My day-to-day job is busy, fast-paced and sometimes, everything that I have written on my daily To-Do list doesn’t get done, especially if I have to drop everything for something far more important. Again, I’m starting to wonder whether to-do lists are actually good for you at all or whether they are the root of a compulsive person’s problems. That little piece of paper with all of your tasks staring back at you, putting pressure on you to tick them off. Sure, you feel like you’ve truly accomplished something when you’re scrawled through them all but if I see one or two that I haven’t, I feel like I haven’t been productive, even if I’ve spent the day running around like a blue-arsed fly. Aaaaand the trouble is, your work is never done, that’s why it’s a job, because if you didn’t have anything to do, what are you being paid for?

Back to the art of saying no, before I make a pros and cons list of to-do lists…in the past couple of weeks I’ve declined offers of going out after work and have tried to be a bit more firm with things e.g. “I’m really busy at the moment, not right now but I’ll try to later.” Not out of principle but so that I can create a more balanced lifestyle; if I went out to every event/gig I’m invited to, I’d be burning the candle at both ends and surviving on Wetherspoons meals. Been that, done that. Yeah I’m only 24 and this is the time to be living la vida loca but I feel I can a bit more choosy and I’ve learned its okay to say that I’m tired or I’m trying to save money, without feeling like I’m missing out on something or being a bore! Let’s be honest, I’m not exactly a hermit anyway!

Sorry if I’ve rambled on but sometimes when I feel a bit overwhelmed or a bit stressed, it’s therapeutic to write things down to get them off my mind. Maybe I should write a semi-autobiographical tale like Danny Wallace and entitle it “No Woman.” Hmm…

Anyone else find it hard to say no? Send your tips and advice my way!

25 Things To Do Before 25

I’ve said before that I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, they’re just set up to make you fail but I do love a to-do list and I’ve been wanting to compile a 25 Things To Do list before I become a Quarter of a Century Year Old. I started making this before Thailand so I could have technically cheated and added “Go somewhere exotic,” to it but here’s my 25 to tick off for the next 337 days…no pressure then!

1. Visit Paris

2. Take on another sporting challenge

3. Camp at a music festival

4. Get more work published

5. Visit somewhere in the UK I’ve never been

6. Try different foods (Big step for a fussy-eater!)

7. Cook dinner for my family (apologies in advance)

8. Finish a TV boxset

9. Start saving for the future (ooomph)

10. Have two mad nights out in a row or go out on a school-night (Deal with the aftermath without complaint)

11. Experiment more with my personal style (Note to self: You can’t live in floral dresses forever)

12. Host a charity event

13. Create a collage/photo album of “My Life 18-25” (My mush 19- 23 above)

14. Move forward in my career

15. Learn a new skill or take up a short course

16. Stop worrying incessantly about EVERYTHING! Just STOP.

17. Develop and be consistent with my blog

18. Face my fear of public speaking

19. Buy a newer car

20. Visit more of London’s landmarks

21. Learn when to say “NO.” You can’t always be Super Girl

22. Be a bit more impulsive (last minute break, an expensive purchase and don’t feel guilty about it!)

23. Start writing short stories again (Childhood/Adolescent hobby that left me when I had to start writing 3,000 word essays)

24. Tick more bands off my Live Gig list

25. Be happy with where I am in life and enjoy living in the moment

I know a lot of you are at the same sort of stage in life right now, so what do you want to accomplish before you turn 25?

Wonder what I’ll be doing this time next year…

Hello Monday!

Sooooooooo…it’s been a while but I am fresh and freckled from Thailand. Admittedly I haven’t felt with it for the past week or so since we got back so that’s blogging and anything that required intense concentration outside of work, took a back seat. I learned that jetlag is horrible and that I will never complain about a 2 hour trip to Europe- AGAIN! Thailand was an amazing adventure and I’ll be putting up a post mid-week to share all of the best (and funny) parts with you. It was utterly delightful to come back to the wind, rain and the tube strike and I dare say that it’ll only be another week or so before wanderlust kicks in once again.

Hua Hin Beach, Thailand. Take me back!

Hua Hin Beach, Thailand. Take me back!

In the meantime, I thought I’d just write a little catch-up post because I keep promising myself that I will be strict with my blogging and get a proper schedule going with it, it’s on my 25 Things To Do Before 25 list (coming up very shortly) but I’ve also included “STOP WORRYING ABOUT EVERYTHING” on it too. I think the latter will be better for my well-being!

Anyways, work has been go-go-go! Really enjoying writing the Gig Panel each week in the Ticket for the Daily Mirror (check it out every Friday). Outside of work, had a really busy weekend after we got back, which didn’t really help the jetlag but it was worth it. The girls surprised my friend Emma and I with a belated birthday present- Afternoon Tea at BB Bakery in Covent Garden! It had cuuuuuuuuuute written all over it from the illustrations and the china-ware to the delicious cakes and scones.I didn’t realise how quickly you could feel full after half a dozen bite-sized treats but we hit the shops afterwards to burn it all off.

Of course, Friday just gone was Valentine’s Day and after a manic week, it was nice to just go out for dinner and then do absolutely sod-all for the remainder of the weekend. This Monday has turned out to be less of a struggle than previous ones, amazing how much sleep can rejuvenate you! Tomorrow night I’m off to see an Andrew Lloyd Webber production Tell Me On A Sunday at the Duchess Theatre, as part of a Press Night (exciting!) and I’m taking my dear Mumma along for a nice, girly evening. I’m also hunting around for a 1920s style dress (too much choice!) at the moment as the girls and I are off to an awesome Prohibition party next month. Send any links/suggestions my way, s’il-vous-plaît!

Hope you have an awesome week, I’ll be back soon with my 25 list and loads of Thailand pics to make you dribble…