The Yorkshire Cake…I mean Soap Company!

A little change of pace now from my last few posts, however rest assured the final instalment of the Goa Getaway will be with you by the end of the month. I just had to take a little detour and bring you back to the cold UK to take you, my readers, to the most wonderful shop I have ever stepped into. I was like Alice, at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, amazed by what wonders were scattered so perfectly around me at the Yorkshire Soap Company.

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I stumbled upon it’s sugar pink walls and dark wood edges last weekend upon an impromptu visit to York. With the Frenchie (Gatsby) on lead we ventured out into the crisp, cold, northern weather with no plans in mind to shop, just to wander but I couldn’t help myself when I arrived here.

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Like a child at a sweet shop door or Imedla Marcos outside Christian Louboutin I danced inside to the enchanted little shop. There was soap everywhere, but not as we know it. Not those clinical white bars you find in hotels rooms or the fancier white bars you buy online. No. These were an amazing creation that I’d never seen before, a delectable selection of cake shaped soaps and treats.

After 5 minutes waiting outside for me in the cold, Gatsby & Scott were invited in, because at Yorkshire Soap Company they just love dogs and they would’t let Gatsby stay out in the cold one minute longer! So whilst the Frenchie snorted in delight with the copious amounts of attention, I was free to adventure further down the Rabbit hole.

Upon each polished wood table sat decedent, clear glass cake stands filled with Soap Cakes, each sliced into equal pieces with delicate flowers in each corner, some with fine glitter layers, others with whipped toppings and tiny rose buds, it was like art and almost too beautiful to use, too beautiful to touch. It was the best looking tea party you have ever been invited to!

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Next to the cakes were further treats, in the form of flower topped muffins and to the side of the grand table, little shelves of little truffles, each hand crafted to perfection and set in tiny truffle cases and the smells! It was what a soap shop should smell like. Unlike that over powering, stomach churning smell that seeps from every Lush store around the UK, you know the one that instantly reminds you of the time you ate too much chocolate as a child and spent the night groaning listening to your mother saying “I told you so…”. The smell at YSC were soft and clean, not over powering or powdery and each smell was better than the last.

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Chose your own bath truffles, such as Strawberry & Poppy Seed, Lavender Fields or Yorkshire Rose.

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As well as the beautiful bath truffles and layer cakes that met my eye, there were rough cut bars of soap, wrapped in paper ready to be taken home and used without worry of ruining the beauty of them.

The best part about all of this, is that it’s all made in the UK, in York, in fact just behind the shop itself. Doesn’t that just add to the product? If you want to experience the beauty of Yorkshire Soap Company, I strongly suggest a visit, but make sure you go on pay day, you won’t be able to resit…

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Goa Getaway – Panjim Excitement

It’s true to say that after just one day at the Alila Diwa Goa, we were in a very peaceful  and almost sedated state, floating from our room to the pool, to the Bistro to the Beach. I’ve never felt so relaxed, but before we could slip into an all day snooze in the sun we made ourselves have a day out and actually experience the cultural landscape of Goa.

So, we dared to take a taxi and travel 40 mins away from our comfortable resort and boy we were thrown right into the hustle and bustle of daily Goan life! The drive was picturesque to say the least, each road dotted with painted houses, like sweets poking out through heavy green vegetation and the smells that wound down every road were heady and new. It was another world and one I very much wanted to stay in.

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After some 45 minutes driving, pretty much in the middle of the road (it seems to be acceptable out there!) we arrived at Panjim around 11am and were thrown right into it. We were left to wander the beautiful and intriguing undercover markets that led you into the heart of the fruit & veg and flower stalls. Women & men lined each stall sitting crossed legged stitching  flowers together into rainbow bouquets and necklaces, all entranced in their craft.

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After passing by the many beautiful flower stalls, we regrouped outside where our transport awaited. The Tuk Tuk!

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At first my heart was in my mouth, beating with nerves at the thought of putting my life in the hands of this fast moving, wobbling vehicle! But I actually loved darting around in our little Tuk Tuk! It nipped down the streets on Panjim, weaving through traffic and revealing all the sites that stood around us. The harbor, the buildings, the Churches and the Temples. We were told by our driver that the Goan population is split between 3 religions, the main being Hinduism and Christianity making up 95% of the population. With this in mind we were taken to some of the main religious sanctuaries in Panjim to see how these religions differed.

First stop was Altinho Hill, upon which stood a beautiful white church that has been the focal point of many a Bollywood film and now quite the tourist attraction.

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The beautiful white stone setting was due to be flooded with people in a few days at the host of an annual feast held at the Church and for that reason, we couldn’t go inside, however the site of it from the outside was enough the excite our tourist needs.

Onto the next and we were back in our Tuk Tuk delving into the depths of the houses that surrounded Altinho. Another white stone church sat between houses, tucked away from the main road.

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Chili’s had been set aside in silver pans, left to dry in the sun. Dogs roamed around happily as the locals sat, just watching as we passed by.

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Tucked away in corners and off the road were elderly women, selling fruit and veg to passers by and without realising I managed to snap this picture.

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Here these women really are the supermarkets of Altinho and they sit out all day tending to their stock. It’s a totally different way of life out here, there is no imposing media, no glaring digital hand book and everyone is happy and very very relaxed. There seemed to be no note of stress in the air just people, getting on with life peacefully.

There was something truly peaceful about their places of worship and there home streets, something resting and calm which couldn’t have been more apparent when we reached the high point of our journey.

We had reached a beautiful Hindu temple at one of the highest points in Panjim with a spectacular view that stretched out for miles, over the trees and houses snuggly set between them and the sky line of Panjim. The Temple itself was painted a burnt orange col our inside and out with white edges. Sat on the top step was a very old lady, just monitoring everyone and smiling as the passers by and those who had come for solace.

Goa 25Everything was quite and warm. Each person that walked up the stone steps was silent in thought. We took off our shoes and joined them outside the Temple door where Hanuman, one of the India Gods was situated. Before entering the temple you had to pay your respects to the God by placing flowers on incense around him, before a short prayer.

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I stood at the temple entrance looking out at the view and the place around me. My bare feet felt warm upon the stone floor and I thought to myself there is no way we could ever be this calm and civilized in the UK!

So maybe we should all try and take some time out of our day to just relax. Sit down, close your eyes and just stop thinking about anything and everything. Or better yet, book an adventure to Goa and experience it first hand!

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Don’t miss out on the next installment…

 

Goa Getaway, Take 1

Baby it’s cold outside…and I’d rather be stretched out on a lounger, looking out over an infinity pool, clinking cold Kingfisher bottles and watching the sun move slowly across the sky. Well two weeks ago, I escaped the cold to do just that!After a 9 hour flight later, we touched down in Goa and our skin rejoiced at the feeling of warmth on our skin. At last!

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We arrived late, about 2AM in the morning and after a long flight all we wanted to do was drop onto a mattress and hide under the duvet. The Alila Diw Goa was Luxury from the moment we stepped into the taxi at the airport exit, plush leather, bottled water, air con and a very polite driver. The 20 minute drive itself was fascinating, powering down twisty turny roads dotted with grand, colourful houses, a little worn and loved, but beautiful. Across a railway track and down some more roads, lined with coconut trees and vegetation, it was already an adventure and we were here!

When we arrived at the Alila, we were greeted by cold towels and security checks, reassuring us of the safety and relaxation of the resort. After a quick and polite check in, we were chauffeured to our Superior Suite and boy was it superior! King size bed, free standing bath, sliding double doors out to the private pool. You couldn’t have asked for more!

After a much needed kip, we awoke, refreshed and ready to explore (and sunbathe). We started with a delectable breakfast, Spicy Chicken Curry Omelette, of course it would be rude not to have Curry for Breakfast and it was perfect!

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Next to follow, was, well…a lazy day by the pool and then at the beach! Judge us as you will, but I’m sure you can see why we spent the first day as sloths!

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Goa 9 Goa 8 Goa 11Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment of my Goa Getaway, there is lots more to come!

 

Digital Dating for Snobs

Digital dating has taken off in the last decade and there’s no two ways about it, we live in a world of assisted dating. Now you are just a click away from titillating someone’s fancy with the swipe of a screen and bingo! you’ve got a date, or a shag as that appears what Tinder is for. Whatever way you look at it, the 21st Century is all about hooking up through your phone, let’s not approach the argument of what ever happened to just getting out there and meeting someone, because there’s something much more important to talk about.

The 18 to 30 something group, longing for love and hoping that the perfect person will cross our path’s one morning on the tube, outside the delicatessen on your lunch or at dinner, over a cocktail, but I guess for some of us, the thrill is now in the swipe of your phone. Yet to my horror and hopefully to everyone else’s, this digital dating world has opened up a totally unacceptable arm of snobbery and segregation I didn’t think existed in this entity.

Luxy – the new way to digitally date, with a very specific tag line…you must beautiful and you must be rich. Yes, you read that right, a dating app that you can only get on if your rich and beautiful, well you can get onto if you’re ‘not’ but you’ll get thrown off pretty quickly. It’s claimed that every day they are actually removing people that aren’t rich or beautiful enough. Pick that apart as you will. The new app is quite obviously controversial, but more importantly, a support of those who still believe you should only be suited to people like you, i.e the rich marry the rich, the poor stick together and the ugly stay hidden away out of sight so not to offend the beauties of our world in which we should be oh so lucky to even look upon them. And what is ugly, what’s beautiful? You may be 5 foot 8, brunette and have perfect skin, but that’s not everyone’s taste. What’s next, a dating app for white people only? Or a dating app where you can be removed if you weren’t educated privately?

This statement, released by the nameless (i.e cowardly) CEO, is rather distasteful to say the least “with the rise of high-speed digital dating, it’s about time somebody introduced a filter to weed out low-income prospects by neighbourhood.”

So let’s talk honestly, because I know some of you may be thinking, but what’s so bad about being specific about what you want? We all have our tastes, we all judge one another and we all have the perfect idea of who we’d like to end up with. Of course there are people out there you wouldn’t date, but surely you just don’t invite conversation or you politely turn down the offer of a drink. Luxy opens up a bigger argument and wider issue that says we’re ok with social segregation, that we’ll let wealth, possessions and earnings define who you can and can’t talk to, let alone date. It appears we really are living in a world where we are so openly persecuting people for not earning enough money and second to that we’re promoting the open discussion of earnings and measuring that as a factor to date someone! They should perhaps rename the app along the lines of Shallow or Snobbish.

There may be the argument that some ‘Luxy’ men have the dream of meeting an ambitious woman, a woman who wants to succeed, a woman who will work her way up the career ladder, a woman who has dreams of power, well of course, we all have specific traits and aspects we look for in a significant other, but this theory is ripped apart quickly when you learn, that that’s really a lame excuse because, a requirement for the men of Luxy is to chose from a minimum earning of £60,000 or less up to £1 Million +, women on the other hand, aren’t required to enter a minimum limit to hint at their earnings. Oh, right, so, you’re all looking for ambitious, tenacious women…please!!!

So really, what is next…exclusivity at cinemas? Anyone earning minimum wage or lower must sit on the floor and stare up at the screen, a crick in one’s neck is what you deserve. Or perhaps we can revisit the racist views and actions of 1960’s Mississippi and start exclusivity to bathrooms and make poor, white, and ethnic minorities, anyone that doesn’t really fit into the disdained ideals of the rich and beautiful or share the ideas of the elite and the fascist, will have to use the outside toilet?

Let’s not fotget, this is about how beautiful you are and how much money you make a year, these Luxy people are shallow after all, they probably don’t even know about real issue in life, just about where their private jet is flying next.  You may all be thinking I’m taking this too far, but we all know how things can escalate in the present day, I mean this type of prejudice just shouldn’t exist.

Money doesn’t breed sensibility and clearly it never will.

Bananas about Cake | Banana Cake Recipe

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Here it is, the first Foodie post at JamJar and it’s a golden one!

Do you sometimes just get the urge to bake (or is that just me?!) and that’s really what lazy Sundays are for isn’t it? Spring cleaning, drinking tea and wrapping yourself up on the sofa with this week’s Grazia or the book you dedicate your spare time to and then there it is, the perfect time slot for the occasional apron fashion show!

With the Great British Bake Off in full swing how can one not be tempted to create something tasty and oh so beautiful (well to you!).

GBO brings out the baker in all of us and I think most people just fear the land of Meringues, Macaroons, Savoury Pastries and the Show Stopper Challenge, but don’t be scared off by thinking it’s hard, it doesn’t have to be. We can’t all create 5 tiered Vanilla and Lavender cake, laced in chocolate Ganache with gold leaf decoration. We all need to take baby steps and trust me, some of those simple bakes without the complication taste the best.

Whether you love to bake or you’re about to lose your baking virginity then this banana cake recipe is an excellent place to start, especially if you have some over ripe bananas sitting in your fruit bowl. So get that apron on and get those scales out, it’s time to bake and then relax with tea on the sofa and your perfect, moist Banana Cake.

BC2Ingredients 

  • 140g butter, softened, plus extra for the tin
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 50g icing sugar
  • handful dried banana chips, for decoration

How to do it…

Heat your oven to about 180 degrees or Gas Mark 4 and make sure it’s hot for when you’re ready to bake!
Next get your loaf or cake tin and make sure even though you are using baking paper that the tin is lightly lined with butter. Cut the baking paper an inch bigger than the actual size of your tin and fit into place.
Weight out your butter and caster sugar and pop together in one bowl. Next, get your electric whisk and mix the two together until stiff and creamy. Fold in about half of the flour and your two eggs and mix again. Once mixed together, add the remaining flour and set to the side.
Next (and this is a quick step) peel the bananas and mash them down into a bowl into a lumpy paste – don’t worry if you can’t get it smooth, it’s better with some tasty banana bits that melt together!
Now add the banana mash and baking powder and give it one last mix together. By now you should have a lovely big bowl of your banana mixture. Add all of this to your tin and bob it in the oven to bake for around 30 minutes, but do keep an eye on it, if it needs a little longer don’t forget about it! It should be a nice golden colour with some darker gold patches across the top.
Once baked, take out the oven and cool in the tin until you can hold the edges, then take it out of the tin and cool on a wire rack or a plate. Leave for about 30 minutes until you remove the baking paper and add to the plate you will serve it on.
Last but not least, mix the icing sugar together with a little splash of hot water. It’s important to remember that the amount of water you use will determine the thickness of your icing sugar drizzle. Add small amounts at a time, you’ll need less than you think.

Once at the thickness you want, pour it over the cake and add your Banana Chips as you please! Voilà! Eat now or save it in the fridge for later.

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Once you’re hooked, you’ll be sleeping in your apron…

Goodbye Genie

When waking up this morning I, like most of us was shocked to learn of the death of one of the worlds most touching, talented and gentle comedians of our time, Robin Williams.

I first discovered Robin Williams at the age of 6 when watching the Disney animated classic Aladdin, ‘Group hug, kiss the monkey…fur ball!’ I loved Genie, he was my favorite character and still is and yes…I still no all the words to all the songs!

Next was the second children’s classic, Hook, dapper and daring as grown up Peter Pan and oh how I wanted to be Julie Robert’s punky Tinkerbell!

After the standard awkward teenage stage we all inevitably run into with our eyes shut, I rediscovered Williams (thanks to my mother in a plea to bring me back down to earth and watch something half decent and not another teen movie!) in The Birdcage, now one of my favorite films. A classic tale of a gay couple who own a gay club in Miami Beach, Williams’ is front of house and his partner Nathan Lane or Albert Goldman is the drag act everyone flocks to see. A stunning performance from all involved, including Gene Hackman who plays straight laced Senator Kelly.

Aside from the comedy, Williams was actually a very talented character. In his early days, Williams was one of 20 students accepted into the prestigious acting school Juilliard at Freshman level and was then one of two who progressed into their advance program. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Good Morning Vietnam and eventually his talent elevated him into the Oscar Winning crowd when he took his golden statue home for Good Will Hunting.

Williams had a talent to evoke emotion in us all, be it happiness or sorrow and his talent was dipped perfectly in pathos that his audiences adored. Needless to say we have lost a talented and great man, but he will not be forgotten.

Goodbye Genie x

#mycalvins – The revived Classic

This week saw the release of some rather perfect photos of new Mummy Model Lara Stone. Married to David Walliams, their new bundle arrived in the world just last year and already she’s standing tall and topless in front of the camera proudly showing off her post-baby body, sporting the ever so classic white Calvin Klein’s.

The new #mycalvins campaign was shot by industry hero’s Mert Alas & Marcus Piggot, known in the industry for some pretty amazing shots. Mert & Marcus’ perspective of the body is fantastic and some of their staple photographs are a collection of long legged angular poses, with bodies are intertwined but static like twigs. Arms are locked together and the artful silhouettes created to make their photography and campaigns staple memories in the fashion world.

Their work is influenced by iconic photographer Guy Louis Bourdin, the Frenchman known to tip-toe just on the edge of pornographic realities. His proactive and alluring photography is truly a staple of his our cultural world.

Now back to the Calvins! This campaign has been designed to transport us back to the classic and iconic 90’s era and is calling for all of you beauties to get snap-selfie happy and so off your classic Calvin’s. There’s a chance you could appear on the site, so what are we all waiting for?

Calvin Klein are known for their simple grey images, innocent faces and beautiful toned figures all sporting the clean lines of Klein signature undies, jeans and knitwear. Memorable and effective, I’m pretty sure every campaign just makes you want to dash to your computer and purchase a pair of perfect panties! Oh and of course the celebrity following is massive, see Rita Ora, Kendall Jenner and Daisy Lowe, all of them have been seen flashing their tummies in their Calvins, so it’s safe to say I take this moment to finally get myself a pair! Yes, it’s true, whilst most of you will be reliving your sexy-sporty moment with that famous waistband popping over your boyfriend Jeans, I will be trying it out for the first time.

This isn’t the first time Stone has been on shoot with Mert & Markus, they’ve collaborated quite regularly in the past to create some serious marks on fashion. They shot the cover for Vogue Paris in October 2010…

The cover of Love Magazine

And a rather steamy Dsquared2 advert back in 2009.

I think it’s fair to say this threesome is one that wins every time.

Ladies & Gentleman, it’s time to strip down to your Calvins and get in front of that mirror and with already 9,165 posts on Instagram I think it’s fair to say this has to be one of the most memorable selfies this year.

#mycalvins #seflie

Lilac Lover

If you’re anything like me, you’ll always have the urge to change your hair each season. I’m just never satisfied and I normally always revert back to blonde in some shape or form, but this year I’ve been taken back by the product range from brand, Bleach London http://bleachlondon.co.uk/. With an array of products dedicated to fighting brassy blondes and illuminating the fairest of hairs. They love to experiment and along with care, they have products to add colour and create amazing looks outside the box! I honestly don’t know what I did without them.

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Being blonde and a bleach blonde in particular, you have to watch out for unwanted bad brassy tones, there has to be nothing worse than getting under direct light and realising you look like you’re hair has smoked 40 cigarettes a day for 2 years! Well never fear, Bleach London have some amazing little remedies and care packages for the health of your blonde locks.

Firstly, take note of the amazing toner. Not like other toners, it’s more like a permanent colour as you have to mix two elements together and apply to your hair, leaving for about 20 minutes, but the results are amazing, it literally strips out any badness and the restorative conditioning mask is the best I’ve used.

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Secondly, the amazing creation that is purple (Silver) shampoo, just got so much better! It’s the same theory but somehow so much better than anything else I have tried. You’ve got the option to leave it on for up to 15 minutes and it just makes your hair look loved and cherished! I couldn’t rate it higher. They’ve also just released a Rose shampoo and conditioner which leaves you with a little pinky tint, it’s next on my list!

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So with all these amazing products, what’s next? Well if you’re like me I’m sure you do still have to re-bleach every now and again, just to keep it new! For the last few months, I’ve kept my roots dark and just bleached my ends, this time I took it slightly higher, just above my ear, it’s summer after all! After washing off the bleach, I topped up with this amazing little find from Feria, a £5 wonder product that takes cool to a new level.

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It’s a lilac conditioner that you use as a substitute for your normal after shampoo go to and it clings to hair that’s just been bleached leaving your hair a lovely lilacy tint. I’m in love! It’s subtle enough that you can get away with it for work and bold enough that you can play around with it at the weekend. I have to say I think I’ll always use this product. Not only does it add the lilac tones, but it also does what the Purple Shampoo does, so even a few months after bleaching, you can still use it to illuminate even the dullest blonde, I’m totally sold!

All blondes or anyone who dares for some rainbow colour should get themselves to Boots and release the hair dresser in you! Next, it’s going to have to be the Rose shampoo from Bleach London. Get ready…

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BANKS beauty

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I suppose you’re starting to notice a trend here. Music, health, music, health. Soon to follow will be beauty and a smidge of fashion (there are lots of fashion bloggers out there and I’m not trying to compete for that crown, my wallet would cry for a start!) but for now I have one last post for this month about music. We’ve had two for the boys, The Weeknd and the one and only Prince, so now to join Lana is a new girl on the block, from America but often mistaken for one of us Brits, her name is BANKS, which is also her Instagram pseudonym – hernameisbanks, which makes for great images.

Any who, Jillian Banks is an American singer song writer from LA. She actually toured internationally with The Weekndin 2013 and has made big sounds in the music world already. Named as Artist to Watch by Fox Weekly, I strongly advise you take their advice. A little bit London Grammar, a little bit Lauryn Hill, her music is very distinctive…already.

The first song I heard was This Is What It Feels Like and it felt good. With a very low, enchanting voice her music almost echoes through you and I felt like I needed to listen to it in a dark room to really appreciate the depth of her lyrics or on a dreary day driving through a grey hilly landscape. All of her songs are beautifully written and the darkness you can hear is a reflection of her life lived in her parents divorce. It’s be written that she was unsure of who to talk to or even how to talk about it, hence why she’s filled every line of each of her songs with life and passion and it really is just oozing with emotion. But not that sappy, sad, pass me a tissue emotion. It’s tense, prickly and lonely emotion, but glossed in her incredible voice marrying perfectly together.

Her songs have almost become an obsession to me, my Spotify playlist of her EP’s and one off tracks honestly never gets boring or repetitive and it’s almost magnetic. Her lyrics stick in my mind but not all day like when you get an ear worm of a song lodge in your brain, it’s more like an imprint, something permanent in a good way like a relationship that works. In that sense I guess you could say she connects with her fans through her music and her music means more to her than just vanity.

There is a realness in her lyrics, she talks of her troubled childhood and the rockiness she lived through, not knowing how to feel and scared of feeling something new, but she also connects with you on a personal level because she talks about real life. There’s no fluffiness here, which is similar to The Weeknd in the sense that you don’t need to read between the lines with either of these musicians because they enjoy the rawness of their art. Her music is very honest and her influences such as Lauyrn Hill and Erykah Badu are evident in her songs. There is a vulnerability in the voice, but something tells me she’s through to the other side now.

She’s rising up, although she hates managing her own social media she wants to connect with her fans and I’d recommend you try and connect with her, just in time for the release of her first album, Goddess – September 5th 2014. You won’t be disappointed.

The Body…in progress

I’ve been on holiday (once…) this year and although the bikini show is temporarily over, I still have the urge to keep trim and work on a healthy lifestyle. My efforts this time will not be ignored and I am determined to make sure I stick to the words that effortlessly pour out of my mouth every month and really make something of these statements this time.

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It certainly helps that of late my close friend has qualified as a personal trainer. After two months of grueling and intense studying, she has her stripes and it’s time for my words and her qualifications to meet and make beautiful, healthy progress! The time is now people and I really do want to start keeping my promises to myself. Who needs New Years to make a resolution? I now vow to improve and develop my inner self, through healthy eating and weekly exercise! What more inspiration does one need that the svelte and toned figure of Chelsea Socialite Mille Mackintosh? Please…do see below!

This is also something that is now quite a serious mission of mine, as a few years ago I was diagnose with an illness called Addisons. I really hate that word ‘illness’ it’s also called a disease but I think that’s even worse! I wouldn’t really describe myself as an ill person, so I don’t really like pigeon holing myself like this. I work 5 days a week, I bounce out of bed at 7am every day and although guiltily I love slipping into bed before 9pm some nights, all in all, I’m a pretty healthy person. Id’ say it’s more of a bad stitch in my DNA. Yes, that’s much better. So this bad stitch called Addisons affects your Hydrocortisone levels and can have a very serious result if not treated. I was diagnose at 21 and have been living comfortably with it since then. However, it’s now reached the days where I’m starting to think seriously about my life and not reach for the gin bottle and my heels for a night out as I used to at 21! My specialist is asking me serious questions when I meet with him every 6 months, (those really scary life changing questions!) and I know it’s time to start planning for a comfortable future as well as settling for a comfortable present. In order to avoid any further issues when I start reaching creakier ages, I must make sure I’m healthy.

The first thing to go was cigarettes. It was no longer cool for me at all, it’s bad enough as it is but when you have a bad DNA stitch like me anything naughty is naughtier! It’s been about 3 to 4 months since I quit smoking and despite the odd one here and there I’d say I’ve done pretty well.

Next, it’s all about healthy eating and portion control! How easy is it when you live by yourself to cook for 2 or 4 and then finish everything in the pan instead of saving it for left overs? My excuse is I never have anything to put the leftovers in and take it to work. Well that stops today, I’m going back to my school days and buying a lunch box! Probably not a bright pink one with Barbie all over it, something a little more corporate for the office.

Lastly, it’s all about the exercise. For me, I’ll never really be able to do long, intense physical activities, so Marathons are off the cards, oh and my life long dream of becoming a PE Teach (cough, not in a million years!). This is where my dear friend Megan comes in.

My newly qualified, super shiny own PT! This week she is designing a plan for me which focuses on my wants and needs and personal goals. If like me, you hate the gym, just the thought of using a machine after someone has happily sweat all over or the fact that everyone is secretly competing with each other to a) look amazing when they work out and b) work out the hardest, then a personal trainer is what you need.

Megan’s plan, whilst involving everything I want to achieve, will also be focused on being ‘at home friendly’, meaning I don’t need to pay a shed load of money to look good on a treadmill. I can do all of her exercises from the comfort and privacy of my own home. In a matter of day’s I will be adorning my Nikes and running up and down my stair case in the hope that I too can achieve a curve and drool worthy body like Millie Mackintosh and guess what, I’m going to keep you all up to date!

I think there are plenty of us out there who would much rather work out at home and I’d love to be able to share my trials and tribulations and improvements with you all. I also know there are a lot of you out there, like me with a bad stitch of DNA who may feel limited, so, if you need some help or some motivation keep reading as my first hand experiences are coming your way, but don’t worry, I’ll still be stealing the odd chocolate bar and enjoying a glass of red wine at the weekends, everything in moderation people!