Tag Archives: Featured

Tripadvisor: When reviews go bad!

A couple of years ago, my partner and I were preparing for a two-week roadtrip across the north-eastern US states. Ten states in two weeks required quite a lot of research, and TripAdvisor quickly became one of our most trusted allies in the search for decent motels. Now, if you’re no stranger to TripAdvisor, you’ll know that the wise TripAdvisee tends to filter out the best and worst reviews as the dumping ground for the over-enthusiastic (such as Alec Baldwin’s guest appearance in Friends):

Or the overly-negative:

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Anyway, we spent considerable time researching motels in Atlantic City (top tip: Don’t stay in a motel in Atlantic City. Trawl and trawl until you find a special offer at the Golden Nugget, for example. On arrival, put on your most English accent and say you’re only in the city for one night, it would be bloody brilliant to have a room with a view. Result: hopefully end up with this): Continue reading Tripadvisor: When reviews go bad!

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7 inspiring things that happened this week

1. I’ve been nominated for the “Encouraging Thunder” blog award! Thank you so much to Encouraging Life for this lovely award. You know how sometimes you’re feeling slightly down about your blog, doubting yourself, not feeling inspired? Well I sometimes feel like that anyway – I sure was feeling it this week and then I got this award, which has made me feel inspired again 🙂

encouraging thunder

2. Our house purchase fell through this week. I know, that doesn’t sound inspiring! But instead of crumbling, we’ve managed to approach it with a zen-like calm (mostly), taking comfort from the knowledge that it wasn’t meant to be – to quote my favourite saying, “What’s for you will not go by you”. Our dream house is out there somewhere… Continue reading 7 inspiring things that happened this week

LifeStories – Mingering Mike

Washington DC, dawn 2003. “Record digger” Dori Hadar was hunting for rare vinyl at a local fleamarket, when he discovered boxes containing 38 albums by an unknown soul singer named Mingering Mike. “Can Minger Mike Stevens Really Sing?” screamed a hand-painted cover in bold capitals. “The Outsiders are Back” proclaimed another. The collection was comprehensive, including several greatest hits albums, free single giveaways, a Bruce Lee tribute album and collaborations.

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But why was Mingering Mike such an unknown, when he had a huge body of work behind him, recorded under numerous labels such as Mother Goose and Fake Records? As Hadar began to delve deeper into the boxes, he realised that the discs, far from being in poor condition and scratched, were actually pristine – and made of cardboard. Whoever had made them had taken enormous care to paint the cardboard black, draw on grooves, and create an entire recording career, all in their imagination. Continue reading LifeStories – Mingering Mike

go faux and share some snake love

There are nearly 3,000 species of snake in the world. Only around 375 of these are venomous, and only a small proportion of these are potentially harmful to humans. In the UK, we have adder, grass snake and the rare smooth snake, all of which are legally protected (as are their lizard friends). My favourite is the lovely slow worm – actually not a worm or a snake but a legless lizard (insert obvious joke here). These little cuties are only 50cm long and are have lovely smooth skin (for legal and safety reasons reptiles should only be handled by experts, obv!). Continue reading go faux and share some snake love

I’ve Been Nominated for The Creative Blogger Award!

I love blog awards! I hadn’t had one for a little while so I’m extremely grateful to the lovely Amanda Says. I’ve been following Amanda for a while now and she’s a very supportive blogger so please do check out her blog. Her posts are always unusual and quirky – she’s a woman after my own heart!

creative blogger award

Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog
  2. Share 5 facts about yourself
  3. Nominate 10 bloggers and add their links
  4. Notify the bloggers you included
  5. Keep the rules in your post to make it easy to everyone to know what to do!

Five facts about me:

  1. I’m an ecologist in my day job, and I specialise in bats. I’m off to do a great crested newt survey this evening!
  2. I have a mushroom phobia – bleeeugh, hate them!
  3. I once stood (with a beekeeper) in the middle of a swarm of 20,000 bees. I’m allergic to bees.
  4. I got my Master’s degree at Edinburgh University, where in order to graduate, you have to be hit on the head with John Knox’s pants!
  5. I play ukulele, guitar and harmonica, and I love to sing.

I nominate the following awesome bloggers:

  1. Violet and Eloise
  2. Milkshake Kingdom
  3. Lucky Otter’s Haven
  4. Jack Collier 7
  5. Little Awkward Fox
  6. Stereotypically Able
  7. Ravishing Roses
  8. Vacation Mode
  9. A Vibrant Day

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Utopia HQ

A couple of weekends ago I took an afternoon trip to the lovely Wallington, Northumberland, a grand National Trust Palladian mansion with an interesting – and political – history. As the rest of the UK was gearing up for the General Election, Wallington turned the clocks back to the 1929 election, when the house’s owner at the time, Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan, stood as the Newcastle Central Labour candidate for the second time. Through a series of installations and displays throughout the house and gardens, “VOTE” told the story of Charles’ political career and socialist aspirations. As I wondered around the house, I stumbled across a room entitled “Utopia HQ”, where Sir Charles’ former estate office had been transformed by the awesome November Club into his 1929 campaign HQ. Continue reading Utopia HQ

Makeup Trend Alert – Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

If you haven’t discovered The Girl In a Cocktail Dress yet, it could be time to check out this gorgeously presented blog, which features the latest fashion and beauty trends. I love this post on AW 15/16 beauty trends – it looks so lovely and is really well written, it makes me want to go upstairs and start trying these ideas right now! x

The Girl In a Cocktail Dress

“You got that James Dean day dream look in your eye, and I got that red lip classic thing that you like” – Blank Space, Taylor Swift

“So when it’s cold and when it’s bleak, I simply rouge the other cheek” – A little more Mascara, La Cage aux Folles Soundtrack

“Love’s like a runway but which one do I love more? No emotional baggage, just big bags filled with Dior”  Labels or Love, Fergie

“Put your makeup on, Get your nails done, curl your hair. Run the extra mile” – Try, Colbie Caillat

“Got a picture of you beside me, got your lipstick mark still on your coffee cup” – Back for Good, Take That

The moment I wake up, before I put on my makeupI say a little prayer for you” – I say a little prayer, Aretha Franklin


Dear readers,

I know you might be confused as to why…

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Vintage Medicine Cabinet Upcycle

Hello! Today I finally finished upcycling my vintage 1960’s medicine cabinet! Did I need an extremely heavy 1960’s medicine cabinet in grubby condition? Err.. probably not. Did I want it? Yes. Can I imagine how cool, awesome and useful it might be once I upcycle it (if I don’t mess it up)? Hell yeah. Challenge accepted. Continue reading Vintage Medicine Cabinet Upcycle

Paper Dolls

Remember those cute paper dolls that used to appear in Bunty and Twinkle when you were a kid (or if you’re a guy, rolling your eyes at your sister while she played with them)? Well, they’ve had something of a makeover. Gone are the innocent dolly dresses and matching accessories, to be replaced by on-trend Elsa, Solange Knowles and Walter White (including missing trousers and pink bear) – I love it! Here are 10 paper dolls to get you started – and don’t worry, I’ve included some classics too, because where would we be without Bunty?

The Impossibly Cute

http://fifi-lapin.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/the-fifi-lapin-paper-doll.html

The Classic Continue reading Paper Dolls

Bold is Beautiful: Look Good, Do Good AND a Benefit Freebie?!

Regular readers will know how much I love Benefit cosmetics (if not, check out my post Friends with Benefit) – so imagine how happy I was when I heard about the campaign they’re running for the whole of May. If you live in the UK, USA, France or Australia, head to a Benefit Brow Bar for a Brow Wax in May 2015 and 100% of Benefit’s profits from the treatment will go to charities supporting women and girls, an issue close to my heart. As a thank you you’ll also receive a free, full sized Gimme Brow volumising fibre gel!

Benefit Cosmetics - gimme brow #benefituk

Continue reading Bold is Beautiful: Look Good, Do Good AND a Benefit Freebie?!