Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Monica Vinader Ring

A few months ago when I graduated from University my lovely Grandad told me he wanted me to pick my own gift. I find it really hard when I have to pick my own gifts - do I blow it all on make up (which is always my first instinct) or choose something I can keep? I thought it was appropriate to choose something to keep.

I've always really admired the rings Lisa Eldridge wears in her make up tutorial videos but upon further investigation, they're crazy expensive and thousands of pounds. I found a more affordable, yet gorgeous, alternative by Monica Vinader. 

Monica Vinader do gorgeous stones in their 'siren' ring range and do small, medium and large stones. They're designed to stack but I only wanted one, so I chose the medium ring. It was really hard to choose a colour, I really loved the green, but I decided the grey of this ring meant I could wear it with anything. 

I'm really glad I came across Monica Vinader - they have some gorgeous jewellery, which you can also customise on their website and it's affordable luxury. Thanks Grandad!

Monday, 3 November 2014

Lena Dunham at the Southbank Centre

The moment I first watched Girls, I was hooked. It was so refreshing to see young women on television who were not only going through the same mid-life post university crisis as so many people I know but all of the narcissistic soul searching, altering relationships, crippling anxiety and  all the other mistakes made along the way of 'figuring it all out'. In addition to this the girls are real. They have bellies and thighs, they're highly strung and anxious, in a word: they're normal

It should have been instantly apparent that this gritty realism was down to the shows creator not being a middle aged man imagining what young women's lives are like but 'one of our own' Lena Dunham who impressively created, writes, directs and stars in Girls and is only in her mid-twenties. I needed to know more about this girl and became a bit obsessed. Not only is she incredibly accomplished and, I personally believe, is a key voice of our generation but she is an out-spoken feminist, politically active and articulate to a tee. 

When I heard that she was releasing a book and doing one London date I knew I had to be there. Of course I had the sudden pang of panic about my health, whether I'd be able to manage going to London and actually be able to enjoy myself. Luckily, I took with me the best person you could hope to take, my best friend Louise, who reassured me she was happy to stop and chill at any time, checked in with me to see if I was okay and even treated me to dinner for my birthday. I love that girl.

We met our best friend Katie who is living in London, doing a Masters and being an all-round very clever girl and naturally, did a bit of shopping. Then, onto South Bank, which I had never actually been to before but it was beautiful.

We had dinner at Las Iguanas, opposite the venue, and as we had finished off I spied Estee from EssieButton opposite. I went over to speak to her and she was very nice, although I really babbled away and probably appeared like a complete weirdo!

As part of the ticket price we picked up our free signed copies of Lena's book "Not That Kind of Girl" and got seated. Just to name drop some celebrity spots but in the audience was: the whole cast of "Call the Midwife" (including Miranda Hart), Richard E Grant, Sarah Millican and Daisy Lowe! I won't go into the whole show but I took some very poor quality videos which you can see below. 


I was so pleased to be able to go and see Lena, have a lovely day in London with my friends and thoroughly enjoy myself - I'm over the moon that I was able to go. 

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Around the World in Eighty Days - Berlin

Nearly every holiday I had been on before 2011 had been to a hot country and that's the way I liked it. I didn't really care to go to Berlin but after dragging my long-suffering boyfriend on beach holidays, it was his turn to choose a destination and he chose Berlin. My boyfriend is a mature student studying history at university and has always been fascinated with World War II and The Third Reich and, by extension, so have I. 

What I didn't expect, was that I enjoyed Berlin more than any other holiday I had ever been on!

Berlin Zoo

Berlin Zoo

Treptower Park Russian War Memorial

Hair was on point that day.

Brandenburg Gate

Part of the Berlin Wall

Reichstag Building

On the Underground

Nazi-built Olympic Stadium

This bin roughly marks the spot where Hitler & Eva Braun's bodies were burnt.  

Apart from the fact I found Berlin exceptionally interesting, Berlin had an authenticity that my other historical city breaks didn't. Whilst there were obviously tourists, there weren't the swarms of tourists following highly held up flags and touristy pop up shops that there were in other cities I've visited. It's a working city and I loved that. For this reason, my favourite day was the day we visited the Olympic Stadium as it was out of the city. After visiting the stadium we wandered round the block through the suburbs and it was nice to see and feel part of reality. 

Although these pictures probably look a little grey and gloomy (and sometimes it rained) with a snuggly coat on, it was actually perfect walking around weather and it made looking at the sights much easier and more enjoyable. The only downside of our trip was that we didn't realise you had to book to see the Reichstag in advance - I guess because it's still their parliament building there are security reasons for this - and all we got to do was stand outside and look at it. On the upside it was the day it was announced that Angela Merkel was bailing out a lot of Europe and a German TV newsreader approached us for a comment - that was slightly awkward when we couldn't respond!

All in all I loved Berlin, it was my favourite holiday and it showed me to broaden my beach bum horizons.