Wednesday, 31 July 2013


 I have a new obsession and that obsession is yoga. I've recently joined Virgin Active via Pru Health (50% off so £46 a month as opposed to a wince-making £92) and while one of the gym instructors has given me a good circuit to work through in the gym, I hate the gym,so I'm favouring the classes instead, opting for pilates and yoga. All of the instructors are brilliant, I really rate them and I find I'm thinking about yoga all the time, I want to get better at it, I want to be able to stand on my head. I want to be able to do the stuff the gorgeous girl in this video can do.

However, yoga is about discipline, patience and control. I am going to keep going so I can reach these advanced poses in my own time, not try and rush forward to be the best (yoga isn't about competition), injuring myself in the process. Once I've moved house this weekend, I am simply going to try and fit more classes in.

One act of discipline might be actually managing to make it to the morning classes (and I am googling my new train route right this minute to see if it's doable). I can even go to later classes than I do currently. I like 6pm classes as it's straight after work, but I could wait for a 6:30pm one. My beloved is moving back to Sheffield to finish university and while I have a good social life, I'll miss him terribly so this will be a very nice, wholesome distraction.

Yoga is so good for the mind, I've been super stressed recently, with the move, wedding planning and everything seems to be just going every so slightly wrong,  but yoga seems calm me right down, and does wonders for the body, beyond improved flexibility and potential weight loss, like your heart function, brain function, lymphatic drainage, immune system, digestion...the list goes on...

My workout gear is a pair of yoga pants I picked up in TK Maxx, so very comfortably, and any old top I can find, but I've recently been ogling the ranges at Sweaty Betty and No Balls. Perhaps one day when I have some cash again I can splash out.

No Balls Tank Top at
I got a book for Christmas which was quite an amusing read, Yoga Bitch by Suzanne Morisson about a city woman who goes on a yoga retreat in Bali, I'd recommend it as a far more light-hearted, self-deprecating, and far less self-indulgent read than Eat, Pray, Love!

I'm doing the exercise, wearing the clothes, reading the books, I'm well on my way to being a full-on yogini!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Good Morrow, Miss Magpie

They call me the crap magpie. Well, they don't, but my flatmate does. Although we are very shortly moving from North to South London (eek, panic attack, so much to do, so much to do), I can't stop accumulating stuff. A couple of weeks ago I was walking home and I found this amazing wooden box sitting on the street outside some house. So I took it. It's now filled with makeup supplies.

We live in a block of flats at the moment, so there's always someone moving in or out, and soon that'll be us. The other morning I was leaving for work and by the bins I found these linen-lined wicker baskets, perfect for my larger toiletries and things that I just need a home for. I was planning to buy some anyway but have this aversion to spending money on boring stuff so it was great to find these, crying out for a new home.

Then on Friday night, I got lucky again outside our flats when I found a big Nikon camera case in perfect condition lying by the rubbish. As I'm planning to buy a new fancy camera, this saves me the trouble of buying a case for £40+, brilliant luck! I better make it a Nikon then...

I am returning the favour though, I've been freecycling our old possessions like crazy. Freecycle is the actual best. Over the years so many of my things, from kitchenware to old pc monitors has gone to good homes, and I've acquired a dining table and chairs and other useful things I needed at that time and couldn't afford to buy, and stopped those things from going into landfill.

O2 Priority Moments currently has a deal with Office where you can get a free pair of espadrilles just buy showing them a code on the app. The offer is on for another 4 days only, so get in quick. I grabbed mine the other day, great lightweight summer shoes, for zero pence, I got some men's ones because of my big old feet! I know I don't need more shoes, but hell, free ones are not to be sniffed at! There are loads of great offers on the app, from 20% of at Coast to free Molton Brown shower gel (with spend).

Friday, 19 July 2013

Penhaligon's Vaara

A couple of weeks ago, I headed to the Penhaligon's Vaara launch at their longest-standing, beautiful Wellington Street Store. Vaara is the new fragrance inspired by the Royal House of Marwar-Jodphur in Rajasthan. In its beautiful packaging in vibrant orange and sky blue and the trademark elegant Penhaligon's bottle, with headnotes of quince, rosewater, carrot seed, coriander seed and saffron, Vaara is certainly a fragrance fit for royalty and it's perfect for these roasting summer days we're experiencing. You can read more about the launch event here.

The Wellington Street store is having a summer party on the 1st August from 18:30 to 21:00, to again celebrate the launch of this new fragrance. Onsite there'll be a henna artist and traditional folk dancing to entertain you, as well as Annesh Popat, chocolatier to talk about the creation of the divine Vaara chocolates that were created in collaboration with Penhaligons. so head on down for refreshments, a goody bag and discount of 15%. I know I will be!
Vaara, £120 for 100ml

Saturday, 6 July 2013

The Ladykillers (Play)

The Ladykillers is back in the West End from 29th June at the charming Vaudeville Theatre and I had the pleasure of seeing the show on Monday night. The play is Graham Linehan's (Father Ted, The IT Crowd) adaptation  of the classic Ealing Comedy, about a little old lady with an active imagination, who unwittingly takes in a band of criminals, who claim to be musicians needing a space to rehearse, but are actually plotting their next robbery.
Cast - The Ladykillers, picture from Londoneer
With familiar faces like Ralf Little (The Royle Family) and Simon Day (The Fast Show) cast in the motley crew of wrong-doers, and with Angela Thorne's innocent sweet old lady and her constant interruptions to the rehearsals, the play is a very, very silly, madcap adventure, with a very, very impressive set by Michael Taylor.

Go, see, I implore you not to laugh your socks off. Tickets start at £20.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The Sleeper - Emily Barr (Review)

I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Emily Barr's latest book, The Sleeper to review, so even though I have a thirty-book high pile at home, this book got fast-tracked to the top of the pile for immediate consumption.

From the back of the book, "Everyone thinks she has a happy life in Cornwall, married to the devoted Sam, but in fact she is desperately bored. When she is offered a new job that involves commuting to London by sleeper train, she meets Guy and starts an illicit affair. But then Lara vanishes from the night train without a trace. Only her friend Iris disbelieves the official version of events, and sets out to find her. For Iris, it is the start of a voyage that will take her further than she's ever travelled and on to a trail of old crimes and dark secrets. For Lara, it is the end of a journey that started a long time ago. A journey she must finish, before it destroys her..."

It's so hard to write about a book without giving away to much of the plot. The main characters are Lara, the one who disappears, and Iris, an acquaintance who tasks herself with finding Lara. Lara is a bored woman who lives with her sweet but dull husband, drowning in debt after failed IVF attempts. Iris is someone she barely knows and wants to get to know better but seems to always push other people away. When Lara disappears, it transpires that both women have pretty big secrets that they want to keep but that are inevitably all going to come out.

I really rated this book, like all of Emily's so far. I love Emily Barr. She is like, my favourite. Her books are great psychological thrillers, always containing a slightly messed up character who you can totally relate to, with so many twists and turns in the plot it's impossible to see what's coming next. I've now read all but two of her books, but they are firmly on my to-read list, because they are just so easy to read yet not at all chick-litty.

Emily was a journalist, but hankering for other things, she asked her boss if she could go backpacking and write a column on her travels. When they surprisingly said yes, she went off, and ended up with an idea for her first book, Backpack. Now she has written 12, and they're all brilliant. Nearly all of Emily's books have at least a portion that is set somewhere else, like Italy, France, Spain, Cuba and a few recently have been set partly in Cornwall, it's no surprise to find out that's where she lives. The Sleeper has an overseas section too, although you'll have to wait and see where.

The Sleeper is on sale from 4th July, RRP £7.99 but available from Foyles at £6.07. I recommend it highly. A great read for your commute, or if you're off on your travels, your sunlounger (I am jealous).