Monday, 18 August 2014

London Day 3

Today we visited Westfield in Stratford. Now I'm not a HUGE lover of shopping, however this place was unreal. It was so busy but there were shops there suitable for everyone. There were designers such as Kurt Geiger and Karen Millen to more affordable shops such as Forever 21, Topshop, Primark etc. 

Forever 21 is my new favourite place. I bought a lovely, classy, black sheer top, 2 vests and some leggings. Yep nothing exciting. 

We had lunch at Jamie's Italian which was amazing. There's just something about having a cocktail in an afternoon. I had a caipirinha which is made of limes, sugar, cachaça over lots of ice! It was beautiful as for me it's quite hot down South compared to the chilly temperatures of the North! For lunch I decided on the lasagne. It looked so rustic and I was so hungry I devoured every last bite. It didn't take me long despite the food being piping hot. I would definitely go back again.

After some more shopping and helping Hannah choose some make up we caught a train to meet my Dad from work. We were off to Jamie's Wine Bar (I know a theme running here) for some more (and much needed) Prosecco. We wined with some of Dad's friends with work and I was told how funny I was (much more funny than my Dad) and was even invited back down again to experience London clubs (exciting). After talking for what seemed like hours we headed for food. We went to Moo Grill and I feel I experienced some of the best steak I have ever eaten! It was so nice. It wasn't a big commercial restaurant, but it was a lovely small place where we drank wine and ate steak. I ate so much I needed to be rolled to the train station (joke). When I'm next down in London I plan to go there again and if any of you reading this like your steak and don't want to go to an expensive restaurant then I highly recommend this place. 

I'll keep this one short as my previous posts have been a tad 'rambly'. I really enjoyed London though and all I want to do is to go back. I've been back up North for 5 days and all I think is this time last week I was sat drinking wine in my best friend's living room rambling on about life. 

"The rest is still unwritten"


Sunday, 17 August 2014

London Day 2

I woke up at 8am today after waking up nearly every hour last night. I gave in and went downstairs. I settled in an armchair with a glass of OJ and watched the news. I have to say I was really lazy this morning and during a Jeremy Kyle break I made myself some crumpets whilst Hannah made me a cup of tea! 


I'm just about dressed after a hot shower to wake me up. Today's plan is to go to London specifically Covent Garden and shop. I know CG is expensive so I'm trying to keep my spending low! 

We headed for The Slug and Lettuce for lunch. After inspecting the whole menu I decided to order a Baked Carbonara which came with lovely crusty garlic bread perfect for dipping! Ice cold water was welcomed in the heat and refresh us before we set off on our travels around London. 

Just bought a new charm for my pandora bracelet. I think that final charm means I've finally finished my bracelet! I decided to buy a London bus to signify my trip to London. It's so cute and finishes my bracelet off perfectly! If you like this charm this is available at most pandora stores and is £40. 

Covent Garden was so busy. We popped into Dior (where Hannah bought perfume after much deliberation). In fact Hannah's shopping habits became apparent when she spent £40 on a candle in Jo Malone. As a non candle lover maybe you can understand why I thought this might be a bit extreme! Nonetheless I am happy that she enjoyed herself. 

Our feet were aching by this time and my shoes had started to rub the backs of my feet (thanks Converse). We wandered around a few shops mainly window shopping especially in Cath Kidston. There were so many nice things in there! If I had enough money I could and would've bought the whole shop. 

We gave in and slumped on a wall in Leicester Square to wait for my Dad to come and get us and take us to China Town for dinner. 

Dad found us and took us to a cute little wine bar tucked away in the busy streets of Leicester Square. It was hard to believe such a cute hideaway was here away from all the madness. Dad and I shared some Prosecco and we chatted about our day. Hannah and I were more than excited to devour shed loads of Chinese food! 

After finishing a lovely bottle of bubbles we headed to China Town in search for my dad's favourite place. We had a picture taken outside the entrance to China Town. Sadly this is the only picture Hannah and I had together.

We ordered all our favourite dishes there was so much food on the table. I really enjoyed the duck and the chicken wings in garlic. We almost managed to eat it all I was amazed. Sadly if I had more room I would've tried to fit more in my belly!

Embarrassing story
I somehow managed to eat paper whilst I was eating duck. The paper underneath the pancakes was the same size and shape as the pancakes and I ended up rolling it. I realised it didn't taste right and looked in confusion and my duck pancake. Yes that's right- this idiot had managed to roll the whole lot together including the paper and ate half of it before realising. Needless to say I provided a lot of entertainment for Dad and Hannah so I guess that's something. Here's my evidence. What a plonker I am. 

We began walking the streets of London and passed a shop selling t shirts. I saw one that said "keep calm I'm a teacher" and I knew I had to get it! Luckily dad was in a generous mood and kindly bought it for me! 

I saw the outside of one of my favourite shows 'Les Mis' and wished I could have seen it again! 

Dad had put us on a train back to Chafford. We walked home and I immediately hopped into my pjs. I stayed up chatting for a bit but apart from that nothing much happened! 

More to come tomorrow! 

"The rest is still unwritten"


Monday, 11 August 2014

London Day 1

Today I'm making the trip from Halifax to London. I'm then getting a train from London to Chafford Hundred to see my friend Hannah, where I'll be staying till Thursday. 

Train from Halifax to London
10.40 am

I've just boarded the train with dad and I'm enjoying the perks of first class. Tea and Clotted Cream Shortbread (yum)! I have quite a long train ride till I get to London so I am glad I have my laptop and my phone to keep me entertained for the journey! I'm really excited to visit London and friends back home in Essex. I'm staying at my friend's house till Thursday and I have lots planned to do whilst I am there. 

11.00 am 

As the train ride is going to be at least 3 hours I am putting my new Spotify app to good use! I have all sorts on there plenty of cheesy feel good anthems mixed with of course my favourite artists. Whilst I'm on my trip I'll try and write down some of my favourites from my playlist that I recommend you listen to. 

11.40 am

Tea and biscuits are healthy right? This is my second cup of tea and pack of biscuits. Feeling like a 90 year old. I'm such a cute tech savvy granny. Now playing: Don't Stop- Foster The People.

11.42 am

Now playing: The Seeds You Sow- Prides. I CAN'T EXPRESS HOW MUCH YOU NEED TO CHECK THIS BAND OUT. NOW, GO GO GO! Love this song and they're really catchy.

11.50 am
The weather is beautiful today. I'm beginning to realise how pale I am. A real life Casper the Friendly Ghost.

11.55 am
Now playing: Dan Croll- In/Out. He's on tour this year and yes I'm booking tickets as soon as I get back from London. 

11.58 am
Now playing: Catfish and the Bottlemen- Kathleen. Gutted I missed out on these at Live at Leeds, however I will hopefully be booking some tickets to go and see them!

I arrived in London to brilliant sunshine. Dad and I headed for the underground to get us to Fenchurch Street. I boarded a train to Chafford with Dad reminding me of the platform 3 times (unnecessary)! 

I had missed Southern accents. I find them so attractive. When I arrived in Chafford Hundred I was greeted by my best friend and her mum and it felt like I hadn't left even though I've been away for 10 years! They drove me back to their house and we tried to catch up on everything we had missed as well as me meeting their unbelievably cute Yorkshire Terriers Bailey and Rocky. 

In the evening Hannah and I left for the station to meet her friend Cindy and we walked to Lakeside. We were off to watch the new Inbetweeners movie. I was excited to see it as I loved the first one. 

The film was disappointing in my opinion. It really wasn't as good as the first one! The story didn't seem to flow or go anywhere and instead literally just jumped in places. There were some funny scenes but overall it left much to be desired. To say that's their last movie it's a shame because there is so much more they could've done with that. Personally I would've loved to see someone's stag do if one of the four we're getting married. That could've been a good plot. I understand that I might be in the minority with thinking that the film is rubbish. Go see it for yourself and let me know what you think. 

We rolled in about 8ish and I shared a bottle of wine with Hannah's mum. Proved I could drink her under the table haha. Instead of an early night I was expecting we didn't go to sleep till 1am! 

I snuggled down in my bed and soon drifted off to sleep ready to explore London tomorrow! 

"The rest is still unwritten"


August Update!

On Monday I'm off to London (eeee!) to visit my childhood best friend Hannah. I can't wait to be a tourist and take lots of photos which will be posted on my twitter and of course I will document my journey on here as I always try to do (and mostly fail but not this time)!

I've also been teaching myself to play guitar and although I'm not great right now (it's only been a week) I have loved teaching myself using YouTube videos and the odd tip from my brother. I think it's helped my confidence with trying new things because if I'm honest I've wanted to learn guitar for ages but I thought I'd be rubbish at it! As well as learning a guitar I've also started being more vocal with my singing (funny). A certain person (he knows who he is) gave me some good feedback when I was singing to myself on Xbox one day and since then I've tried to stop mumbling and sing loud...more often. Surprisingly my mum was always someone who told me to shut up but she actually sat and listened to me singing a Shania Twain song (yes yes guilty pleasure ok?) I wanted to do on karaoke. She actually said I was good and she wouldn't stop smiling and it may seem like a small thing but coming from my mum that's a really nice and lovely comment. I wouldn't have even done that in front of her had I not sort of sung to the person accidentally on Xbox (so thank you). 

So you may have noticed (obviously) that the last few months I've got myself back on Xbox which has also been another hobby of mine (yes yes do I ever leave the house) but if I enjoy something I'd rather sit and do that than waste my time trying to impress people who clearly don't bother with me! Black Ops 2 has finally become a game I am relatively good at and I've started talking to old friends again as well as making new ones which is always fun. 

There have been some big changes in my life recently. I split up with my boyfriend and it may sound harsh but since the break up I've never been happier. It felt like a lot of feelings had been suppressed and I was just going through the motions of being in a relationship without actually enjoying it. It was definitely a hard decision to make because ultimately I have lost my best friend. The bond we had prior to the relationship is gone and if I'm honest being friends is not something I want to do because it feels awkward now. If anyone has tried the friends thing they know what I'm talking about! I guess I should've seen it coming, I mean it was a scenario I had considered but I guess I never expected myself to end the relationship. I've moved on though as I said I'm really happy and I'm in a good place. I've focused on my friends and found new hobbies and also made more time to write my blog.

So far this long break from Uni has exceeded expectations and I can't wait to experience as much as possible before returning to Uni in September! 

I hope these blog posts are better and I hope you stick around for the journey!

"The rest is still unwritten"


London Playlist

Now I would say I enjoy a range of different kinds of music. Of course I prefer live music, but then I do love my 90s classics as they are records I grew up with. Mum always had the radio on in the car when I was a growing up and we would always sing together. Especially when we used to live in Essex and make long journeys to see my Grandma and Grandad in Yorkshire music helped take our minds off the long road trip!

My spotify is very diverse in terms of artists and music genres. This is to ensure that no matter what mood I'm in I can always find someone to listen to. 

Foster The People
I have their first album 'Torches' and their second album 'Supermodel'. I love this band and I saw them live at the end of June and they didn't disappoint! They are a fab band to listen to for any long journey as each track is different so something will always fit the mood your in. 

Atlas Genius 
I'll admit I didn't know this band until I found them somewhere. Probably supporting a band but I can't remember which one. I've had their album on my spotify for a few months and I've listened to them especially when revising because their album is so diverse. My favourite song is 'Symptoms' so I would recommend these.

Neon Trees- Everybody Talks
One of my FAVOURITE songs. I can't even tell you how catchy this song is. If you're going to listen to at least one of their songs then this would be the one! The video is great as well. It's based at a Drive-in movie place. I love the fashion at that time so if you're into the 50s/60s America then have a look at the video. 

This band supported Foster The People and I was hooked from their first song. They are quite similar to FTP, and I found that like Twin Atlantic you get their Scottish accents coming through in their songs. This might seem like a weird thing but I like songs that show the artists accents, especially in the UK. They played at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, as well as doing a load of festivals this summer you can;t avoid them and they are going on tour this year which I am hoping to attend. Tickets are cheap so if you want to spend a little bit of money but be hugely impressed then choose this band! 

Taylor Swift
I'm sorry but how could I not? A complete guilty pleasure for me. Megan and I have been having lots of little road trips and she was featured. I love singing at the top of my lungs in my PJs but apparently that's inappropriate on a train (typical)! I've loved her since I heard her album Fearless. Her old songs are my favourites but I don't mind some of her new songs. I'd say go and give her a listen but everyone's hear at least one Taylor Swift song (even my Dad has).

The Neighbourhood 
I wanted to see this band at Live at Leeds but sadly they clashed with other bands and I knew if I saw these I couldn't see King Charles and Circa Waves. But if I was going to Leeds Fest I would definitely put these on my 'to see' list. 'Afraid' is one of my recommendations but you make that decision for yourself, you might prefer others to me.

As I go through my trip to London I'll just keep dropping a few name recommendations in. If you want to recommend any songs or artists to me then that'd be cool. 

Twitter: @megsiemaysmiles

"The rest is still unwritten"


Friday, 8 August 2014

Kim Kardashian Hollywood

This game has been noticeably popular all over social media. As my best friend was playing it I had also downloaded the app and begun playing myself. I can't even remember how long I've had this game but I have found it so addictive and I don't know why! The concept of the game is rather easy. Kim allows us to take on the lifestyle of a model (male or female) and allow ourselves to feel like we're rich when really we're nowhere near that lifestyle in reality and some end up spending some of their money making Kim richer. I have to admit I liked the game at first but as time has gone on it has begun to consume my life and I've noticed some flaws in the game itself.

As I am training to be a teacher I completely understand how easily children are addicted to games and how much it can become something of a focus in life for them. This game sends out such bad messages about the modelling industry. We live in a world today where people care too much about their body and unfortunately this game reinforces it. My friend was playing the other day and the characters in the game said she should get plastic surgery if she wanted to become more famous and get more jobs. That is such a bad message to send to teenagers, especially if they are vulnerable! This is the main problem I find with this game. It is so unrealistic. This game only allows you to make your character skinny, tall and undeniably beautiful. There is no sense of reality in there what so ever and where that may have been an appeal to some people I can tell you it isn't to me! There are such things as plus size models and I can tell you they are also just as beautiful and successful so why can't my character be curvy like Beyoncé? I shouldn't have to change my image to get more famous and it certainly isn't a message we should be enforcing upon the youth of today.

Despite the game being addictive (I can't even explain why) the updates seem to make lagging and game crashing worse. It's annoying when stars go missing or you mean to press 'hello' instead of 'charm'. This game seems hell bent on trying to get you to spend money in some way. It hasn't worked on me though. I feel forking out £69.99 for 'K' stars to buy hairstyles and clothes to be excessive and such a pointless waste of money! 

This game was fab for a few weeks but I'm slowly tiring of it eating up my battery and pinching half of my day, not to mention completely screwing up my sleeping pattern. What can you take from this post? Well just think if you agree with the message it is sending to young children. Let's be honest, most young girls have iPhones early and are able to access this app easily. Of course they would download it if they worship Kim Kardashian. However, should we really allow children to be exposed to such an unrealistic game, which seems to suggest the idea that if we ever want to be models or perfect we have to alter ourselves? This is far from wrong and I'm sure if North was old enough Kim wouldn't want her daughter trying to change herself to be somebody else.

Love who you are and embrace your body. 

What do you think of the Kim Kardashian game? 

"The rest is still unwritten"