my week in pictures

It's been a week filled with work, waves and wonderful food, as I sailed to Amsterdam for the most fun-filled weekend, ate at some bloody lovely London restaurants and explored more of the city I now call home. Despite a few hiccups along the way - hair dye disasters etc. - I've had a pretty great week! I visited the Jo Loves store on Elizabeth Street - probably the nicest street I've ever set my peepers upon - for a fragrance tapas, before trotting to The Breakfast Club for a big ol' fry up, a natter and a coffee or six.

Last night involved a whole lot of chocolate, a duvet and a rather extensive youtube session. You all know the vibe, and before I knew it, it was three in the morning and I was 14758364 videos deep. I watched all my old favourites do their thing, and it really spurred me to pick up a pen - well, laptop - and write another blog post. I mean, don't hold me to anything, but there might be a few posts popping up over the next few weeks. I'm leaving it vague, as knowing me, it could be years. 


Dolphin Square, SW1

if yesterday taught me one thing, it's that exercise isn't my forte. burgers, on the other hand, are my speciality. with a little taster of everything Dolphin Square has to offer, the blogger's day lead three fitness enthused, foodie loving bloggers through an intensive workout session, an indulgent lunch, and a spa treatment in the complex's moroccan inspired spa. it was the thought of said indulgent lunch that got me through the fitness class, lead by personal trainer, philipe (who, by the way, is an absolute unit). we squatted, star-jumped and sweated our way through a forty minute class, before being lead upstairs to the bar and grill, which was much more my scene. 
after a little insight into the inspiration behind the menu, i, of course, jumped at the chance to try the burger. the sweet potato fries were to die for, and while the other bloggers gorged on salads, prawns and sandwiches, i devoured one of the best burgers i've had in quite some time. we chatted about travel, trends and the online world, slurping on the finest in fizzy refreshments and attempting to get our breath back after the morning's manoeuvring masterclass. after lunch, we were shown some of Dolphin Square's apartments; short and long term lets, kitted-out to the highest standard. me and my colleague sam decided to try out the beds, and i can asure you, they were squishy, soft and the perfect place for a post-workout slumber.
after rolling around on beautifully made beds, we had a trot across the grounds of Dolphin Square. we walked across manicured lawns, instagrammed flower beds (standard) and explored little cubby holes hidden behind lattice fences, bestrewn with ivy. it really is a little pocket of village life, nestled in the very centre of london. escaping the rain, we discovered a Moroccan paradise in Dolphin Square's spa, offering truly authentic treatments inspired by the essence of Morocco. While the bloggers indulged in some of the spa's signature treatments, sam and I slurped on peppermint tea and relaxed in the courtyard, all in a day's work...


home again


Finding somewhere to call home in london is a pretty daunting task, and after hours and hours of scrolling through houseshare websites, it sometimes feels darn right impossible. I'd find what sounded like the ideal flat, to find that it was either gone, or wasn't quite as it seemed. My hunt for the perfect pad took me to some slightly suspect parts of london, lead me from north, to south, to east of the city in the space of a weekend and was probably a lot more stressful than it needed to be. These little buds of wisdom are what i wish i'd known before i set out on my flat finding fiasco.

do your research.

I can't even begin to tell you how important this is. always do your research on the areas your going to be looking for a place to stay. if your like me, and a complete london newbie, you'll learn that places aren't as close as you think they might be; I work in Victoria, and was looking at flats in peckham, camberwell etc. then realised how far from work these actually were. oh, and always pop the postcode of the flat into googlemaps - sometimes what looks like a lovely flat in photos, can be in an area you wouldn't feel safe in.

safety first. 

which brings me nicely onto my next point - always prioritise your safety. there was a few flats that i looked around - amazing people, massive room, cheap rent - but they just felt so unsafe. i noticed myself scurrying to the bus stop feeling uneasy and on edge, but trying to justify that feeling with the cheap rent. it's not worth it, and finding somewhere you feel safe with cheap rent is definitely possible.


there are so many websites out there promising to help you find the ultimate houseshare - the best? Spareroom. It's easy to use, you can create a personal advert and most of the flats are linked a streetview, so you can take a peek at the area too. you can also narrow down your search to number of housemates, age of housemates, prices and areas etc. saving the scroll through hundreds of useless rooms. I wasn't a huge gum tree fan, but i've heard it's worked well for other house-hunters.

don't rush.

Don't rush into diving into the first houseshare you find. It's tempting - you've spent weeks trawling round London, and you've finally found what seems like a half decent room. Think about everything before you take the plunge. It's not the end of the world if you don't fall in love with the first house you check out, infact, it'll more than likely take twenty, thirty or even a hundred viewings, just make sure you have the right one. You learn a lot from living in a houseshare like, how long people take in the shower (WHAT DO THEY DO IN THERE?), and that you're not actually as weird as you thought you were...but moving in with a bunch of strangers is actually quite exciting - so, happy house hunting! 


baby steps


So, I live in London. The past few months have been a fabulous whirlwind of house hunting, starting my new job, exploring and adventures, trying new things and getting extremely, exceptionally lost. Moving to London as a grad is one of the scariest, but most exciting things i've done so far, but it's something i've known I wanted to do for a very long time. If there's one thing it's made me realise though, it's that i'll always be a northern girl at heart. I don't think i'll ever get my head around the tea/dinner argument. 

I always thought i'd go into something fashion driven. I think the older i've got, and the more experience i've had in non-fashiony jobs, i've realised that's actually not where my passion lies. If anything, going into luxury travel PR has given me a major travel bug, i'm itching to explore the world, absolutely itching. I guess that'll come in a few years though. One thing at a time, right? Everything that's happened in the past couple of months still doesn't feel like reality, but as it does, i'm planning on writing about it on this little corner of the internet. I know when i was planning on making the move down south, trying to find a job and a house etc. there wasn't a whole lot of useful help online, so I guess it'd be great to help other eager beavers find their feet in the big smoke.


Pardon the extremely stereotypical photos, but I thought they were pretty apt giving i'm still a massive tourist, and take photos of EVERYTHING. I've made a little London bucket list, well, I say little, it's restaurant after restaurant, shop after shop, event after event - there's so much to do (and only a grad wage to do it on), and so much to see, but i'm slowly working through it. I'm determined to conquer london on a (teeny tiny) budget, but with my track record, i think that's going to be easier said than done. saying that, i'm also on a mission to get fit, eat healthily (not easy when i have 7564836 bags of crisps stuffed into my desk drawers) and still save steps, baby steps.


flowers in the window

happy sunday! it's bank holiday weekend, which for most, means an extra long weekend off work. fellow bar staff will know that's unfortunately, most definitely, not true. Yesterday, a drizzly saturday in newcastle, I slithered out of bed at eight and made my way to the library. Yesterday also saw the first day of Shindig, a festival in newcastle. naturally, i decided to avoid snapchat, twitter and facebook and ignore the fun everyone else was having. ah, the joys of a dissertation.

My morning was most certainly brightened, however, by the delivery of this beautiful bouquet by Debenhams, from their flower delivery service. Lilies are my favourite flowers ever ever ever. They look amazing and smell beautiful, so this 'Radiance' bouquet instantly made me happy. The roses are delicate, smell incredible and were already at their finest when the flowers arrived. I'd absolutely love to treat my mamma to one of these, and Debenhams were generous enough to drop me, and the lovely people who read my blog, 25% off with the code DFBLOG25. enjoy!


library blues


so, i have a few job interviews lined up and my library blues have led me to spend (far too many) hours scrolling the pages of Toppers, drooling over the posh garms which my, already non-existent, loan won't quite cover. i have this mental image of myself, strutting into the interview completely calm and collected, looking like i've leapt from the pages of Vogue. in reality, i'll probably have lipstick on my teeth, shake the interviewers hand for that moment too long or have several shirt buttons undone without realising. these things tend to happen to me.

i absolutely adore the wide leg trousers that seem to be everywhere at the moment. i say everywhere, but i've never seen them on anyone in real life; only ever on bloggers and in magazines. this leads me to think they look horrendous on 'ordinary' folk like me. i think i'm going to go for a tailored cigarette pant with a crisp, white shirt. the patterned trouser will hopefully allow a bit of personality to come through, yet the white shirt keeps it formal and interview appropriate. really, this post is a bit of a plea for advice - help me please, fashionistas.


this (hopefully) isn't a joke

okay, so it's 2015, and this is probably the 2015th time i've tried to write this post over the past year. I miss this little corner of the internet, my space to rant, chat about things that i'm sure nobody else is interested in and have an outlet when things all get a little bit too much. and that's exactly what's happened this past year, things all got a little bit too much. I've gotten my life in order recently though, and i think i've even got a little more mature these past few months. well, maybe.

i won't bore you with why i've been so busy, but i will bore you with what i want to achieve this year. I graduate in June, and that is a very, very scary thought. there's countless times i've been working in the library (my new home), and the overwhelming thought of, 'what the hell am i going to do with my life' washes over me again. anyone else in the same boat? so i'm frightened, but also extremely excited for the adventure, the leap into the real world.

one of the main reasons i'm so keen to invest time into this blog again, apart from how hilarious it is to look back on old posts (hiya eighteen year old bracey amy), is the support system it provides, how encouraging and inspiring it is to read other peoples blogs, smile at the comments others leave on here and how amazing it is to look back on your old posts and see what you've achieved. so in other words, i'm going to try and blog more often, whether it be an outfit post or just a little update, i'll post. it's a promise, both to you and myself.