thirty things before THREE-0 *** plus a life update

2014, Blogging, Career, December, Inspiration, Travel

hiiii there.

i managed 6 days of the 12 days of christmas. i know that every time i do a blog-every-day style series i usually pre-write the posts because i know life can sometimes get crazy busy. and with christmas it sure did! with prepping for christmas day, family, and work (oh boy work……sooooooo busy) i barely had a moment to breath.

so with that i apologise.

christmas was good. quiet this year. but i definitely can’t complain when i got (amongst other things) harry potter books 1-7 (the bookworm in me seriously did the electric slide), a fabulous new (and much needed) handbag & gorgeous shoes from the bf….and a spongbob squarepants onesie from my brother — A SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS ONSIE PEOPLE.

30 things before 30

i also wanted to give you a quick update on my 30 things before 30 list. remember when i gave you the list this past july? well you can check out it here. i did say that wouldn’t update/change the list but let’s face it. i like to be able to actually tick things off a list and with 6 months to go till the big three-o (6 MONTHS!!!!!) – i thought i could change the list a little to include things that i have already achieved (that i think are 30-things-before-30 list worthy).

so here we go, my updated 30 things before 30 list:

  1. visit paris
  2. three courses, three countries: breakfast in london, lunch in paris, dinner in brussels
  3. eat at a mitchelin starred restaurant in london
  4. try something i wouldn’t normally eat
  5. start a small business
  6. run a 5k (this one scares me to death)
  7. unplug for a full day (or maybe a week!): no phone, social media, tv etc.
  8. kiss someone on nye at midnight
  9. live abroad for at least a year
  10. buy a meal for a homeless person
  11. lose 2 stone / 12.7 kg / 28 lbs
  12. have a morning routine
  13. climb to the top of the eiffel tower
  14. go the cinema on my own
  15. see a play at shakespeare’s globe in london
  16. sort out a pension and life insurance (eek!)
  17. go to a music festival
  18. learn to speak conversational french
  19. do a “once-in-a-lifetime” thing
  20. splurge on an item i can’t afford  but that will last a life-time
  21. serve at a soup kitchen
  22. take a poetry class
  23. re-read all 7 harry potter books (hello christmas present)
  24. start a work-out routine
  25. write a short story
  26. go a on british countryside walk
  27. serve a full-time mission for the lds church
  28. re-watch fringe
  29. visit new york
  30. go hot-tubbing under the stars

that’s 10 things out of the 30 – yay! i’ve started to watch fringe again, love that show. the eating something i wouldn’t normally eat was escargot (aka snails) in paris – check it out here. i started an online shoe business in 2011 – neneh stiletto.

neneh stiletto

and check out an interview i did for the business here!

i lived in utah for 2 and a bit years.

and the once in a lifetime thing? being a participant in the 2014 miss africa utah pageant

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from twenty to thirty. it’s been phenomenal and not what i expected. a non-stop ride. and it’s not over yet!

here’s to making lists. being 30. and embracing and enjoying the ride.

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twelve days of christmas | day 4: winter date ideas

2014, December, Food, Love
all you need is love | winter date ideas
whether you want to brave the cold or snuggle up, winter is still great for dates! here are 10 date ideas for the winter season:
  • ice skating
  • serve at a soup kitchen
  • visit a winter wonderland
  • cut down/buy a real christmas tree together
  • visit santa’s grotto at your local mall
  • watch a classic film with blankets for a cosy night in
  • make each other a playlist of your favourite christmas music!
  • get a hot chocolate and go see all the christmas lights and festive window displays together
  • go watch a pantomime!

what are your favourite things to do with your significant other during the colder months?

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twelve days of christmas | day 3: ’tis the season to parTAY

2014, Blogging, December, Fashion
dresses, ties, glitter and suits.

not necessarily in that order. but christmas + NYE = party season.
the LBD

L K Bennett short dress
$265 – johnlewis.com

Kardashian kollection purse
$52 – theiconic.com.au

Diamond earrings
sothebys.com

Nars cosmetic
narscosmetics.com

Red nail polish
marcjacobs.com
suited and booted #christmas2014
let’s get glammed up!
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twelve days of christmas | day 2: gifts for him

2014, December

ok now I can say I am fully caught up. kind of….

whether it be your significant other, brother, father, uncle or grandpa, i sometimes find men hard to shop for! (especially when i want to steer clear of the typical socks / tie / shirt combos).

here are some gift ideas for the man (or men) in your life:

chocolate tools (how cool is this?!!! or maybe it’s just me)

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the boyfriend and i sampled some from shokolat this past weekend and they are yummy!

experience days

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whether it’s a tour at his favourite football stadium, ice climbing or driving that slick sports car he’s dreaming of buying in his 50s, check out lastminute.com, redletterdays and virgin experiences for some great deals!

gaming
while i don’t like it i have to admit that both my brother and my boyfriend like to unwind by playing on the game console of some sort on an evening. this year i bought my brother football manager 2015 (don’t worry it’s what he asked for – though i still don’t understand the love for it – and i never will!). my boyfriend will also be getting something gaming related **sigh**

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whether it’s a game, controller or another gaming accessory your local gaming or electronic store will be fully stocked!

aftershave/cologne
because let’s face it, a man spritzed with aftershave is 10 times more attractive. {disclaimer: spritzed is not a real word, but just roll with me}.

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onesies for him

just because.

Onesies for him

check out a gift guide for him (way more sophisticated than mine) from one of my favourite bloggers lovetaza.

CHRISTMAS IS COMING!!!

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twelve days of christmas | day 1: gifts for her

2014, December, Family and Friends

i should have posted this yesterday but i was still in the holiday mode {as in i just got back from poland on friday – i will be posting about that trip soon!}.

gift giving season can be tricky and i recently spent a good 4 weeks racking my brain about what to get my girlfriends for christmas this year. if you’re like me then you are someone who likes to make each gift special on some level, while also trying to be creative about it.

if you find yourself at a bit of a loss this year here are a few gift ideas for the woman {or women} in your life, whether that is a girlfriend, mum, sister, aunt, g-ma or wife!

the girl’s night in hamper
create something for a self-pampering girl’s night in (who doesn’t want that on a cold winter’s night?) – you could include the following:

  • hot chocolate (with mini marshmallows!)
  • dvd (chick flick or comedy)
  • nail varnish
  • bathing items (salts, bubble bath etc.)
  • fluffy socks or slippers
  • box of chocolates

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i found cute hamper baskets at wilkinson’s with ribbon and cellophane but there are plenty you can find on the world wide web such as this and this one too.

spa deals
i signed up to receive groupon emails – it’s fab! i get great offers on spa deals, massages, manicures + pedicures from local beauty spas and nail salons. definitely worth it! lastminute.com, timeout london and travelzoo also often have great spa deals.

perfume

ted baker

shopping gift card from her favourite store

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jewellery

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12 days of christmas pack
if you want to get creative (and have the time!) create a 12 days of christmas pack. this is something a friend did for me some time ago but i received 11 small packages and 1 larger to open in the build up to christmas – i thought it was ace! plus it made the build up to christmas that much more fun.

want some more ideas? check out some of my favourite bloggers and their gift guides:

IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS PEOPLE!

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loss and gain

2014, Inspiration, October

i started writing this post with a whole bunch of philosophical thinking. or at least what i thought was philosophical. let’s face it, it probably wasn’t.

but let me just put it simply.

i’m in a very transitional stage of life right now. a lot of things are moving and changing and some of it is making me uncomfortable.

and i don’t know what to do with it.

let me explain a little.

i’m in the process of moving out of my parents house. figuring out a future with the ex now current bf (all good things here). interviewing for jobs. in a temporary job that is ever-changing. and other things.

i think back to the last few years. of what i have lost.

and what i have gained.

i have “lost” money when i started an online shoe business (which didn’t do so well). but i gained experience, business relationships, knowledge about building customer relationships that i wouldn’t have otherwise learned.

i “lost” money again when i decided to move to the states and study business entrepreneurship (which was a result of “losing” the business^^). i gained….i don’t even know where to begin. i gained friends. friends who are family, friends who will stay friends for many more years to come. experiences that will stay with me for the rest of my life. i learned how to love and how to forgive in ways that i wasn’t prepared for.

loss and gain go hand in hand. and upon recognising what i have gained over what i have lost it makes this thing, this transitional thing seem all the more worth it.

i also watched this video from my all time favourite youtubers soul pancake and cried a little. oh dear.

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life lately.

2014, Blogging, Culture, Family and Friends, Food, October, Travel

gahhhhhhh

that’s how i feel since it’s been 13 days since my last post.

oops.

anyway, these lovelies make me want to have braids again #hairenvy

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these ladies remind me why i started my natural hair journey…

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which i haven’t really talked about much on this blog of mine. but these are my inspirations. and i’m over a year free of hair chemicals. yay me.

and thank you pinterest.

this past weekend one of my very good friends visited from the states. well he’s actually brazilian but he lives in utah, where we met. it was his first time in the uk so of course, london was a must. on his first morning here i decided what better way to be introduced to british life than a big full english breakfast. after a bit of browsing i stumbled on a cute cafe (thanks tripadvisor). mimo’s cafe is a fabulous italian cafe bar just outside of paddington station. you can’t beat £4.50 for a good breakfast. especially in london. mimo’s gets a huge thumbs up from me!

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oh did i tell you that this happened?

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never in a million years did i think i would see my name on a coke bottle. i celebrated by not drinking it and posting a picture of it on instagram instead. besides, i’m not drinking anything fizzy anymore remember?

while i spent the majority of the weekend in london this past weekend my mum and niece had a fashion show without me. i loved the photos!

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with my fedora and floppy hat they definitely wore it better.

talking of my niece….we caught her watching cartoons on her dad’s phone rather than napping….which is what she was supposed to be doing.

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and this is my favourite quote on pinterest from this week…

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i hope you’ve had a lovely start to october. here’s to autumn days, halloween, nights in, lots of hot chocolate, duvet covers on rainy/windy nights and 5th november. i do love autumn in the uk.

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dear soda

2014, Food, Healthy Living, September

i’m calling it soda because i still have a few americanisms left in me.

also i keep thinking i’m going to get mocked for calling it a fizzy/soft drink.

and i still get confused about which country i’m in and what word i’m supposed to be using. and when i say sometimes i mean like all the time. i’ve been back on british soil for 6 months. 6 WHOLE MONTHS.

i feel like this blog post is going to be one those … rabbit!

aka. all over the place.

as of the 9th september i quit soda.

for good.

i was inspired by my favourite blogger megfee who gave up sugar last may. yes, i know. may 2013 was sometime ago. but i’ve been slowly cutting down since then. and i mean really slowly. last month i just decided that enough was enough. i need to just cut. it. out.

No more Soda!

we all know that soft drinks are bad for us. but after browsing the wonderful world wide web i found even more reasons lose soft drinks for good. thank you emedexpert.com

here are my favourite four. check out the rest here.

1. First of all, there are no nutritionally beneficial components in soft drinks. Soft drinks mostly consist of filtered water and refined sugars. Yet the average American drinks about 57 gallons of soft drinks each year.

2. Many people either forget or don’t realize how many extra calories they consume in what they drink. Drinking a single 330 ml can a day of sugary drinks translates to more than 1lb of weight gain every month.

Several scientific studies have provided experimental evidence that soft drinks are directly related to weight gain. The relationship between soft drink consumption and body weight is so strong that researchers calculate that for each additional soda consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times.

According to the results of high quality study reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages helped reduce body mass index in the heaviest teenagers.

3. Soda eats up and dissolves the tooth enamel. Researches say that soft drinks are responsible for doubling or tripling the incidence of tooth decay.

The acidity can dissolve the mineral content of the enamel, making the teeth weaker, more sensitive, and more susceptible to decay. Soda’s acidity makes it even worse for teeth than the solid sugar found in candy.

Dental experts continue to urge that people drink less soda pop, especially between meals, to prevent tooth decay and dental erosion.

4. Another problem with sodas is that they act as dehydrating diuretics. Both caffeine and sugar cause dehydration.

Caffeine is a diuretic and causes an increase in urine volume. High concentration of sugar is drawing off water because your kidneys try to expel the excess sugar out of the blood. When you drink a caffeinated soda to quench your thirst, you will actually become thirstier.

it’s actually been a couple of weeks already but i’ll update you in a month!

goodbye soda.

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 ps what do you think of my new signature?

quote of the week

2014, Inspiration, September

i saw this posted both on facebook and linkedin yesterday and i just had to share. i’m not even entirely sure who it is by {as it goes with the internet these days}, but i’m waving it in the air like a flag yelling “we should all do this!”

“become friends with people who aren’t your age. hang out with people whose first language isn’t the same as yours. get to know someone who doesn’t come from your social class. this is how you see the world. this is how you grow.”

m.