Thursday, 31 March 2011

Things I'm loving this week: week 6

The last of these posts I'll write as a 24 year old. This displeases me.

This week I'm mostly going: back to Wales for the weekend. Hurrah. A multi-purpose trip for mother's day and an early birthday outing for my birthday (which is on Tuesday, a fact which, as mentioned, displeases me) and also some miscellaneous catching up with friends, family and Celt the dog. As a consequence...

This week I'm mostly eating: out. In a move that is good for neither my bank balance nor my waistline I'm eating out every day of my three day weekend, including a birthday meal with my parents at one of my favourite places to eat in the world: The Pant Yr Ochain in Gresford. Thankfully I'm not paying for that one. I'll also - hopefully - be indulging my ever more serious Nandos addiction for the second time in seven days. Epic.

This week I'm mostly forsaking sleep in favour of: WRESTLEMANIA!!!! The biggest event in the WWE calendar and all of my favourite wrestlers (AKA the ones I'd most like to sleep with) are on the card. And it's hosted by The Rock, which makes my inner child - and my inner 'The Mummy Returns' fan - jump up and down with glee. Only downside is having to watch on US time and thus doing a day of meetings in London on a questionable amount of sleep.

This week I'm mostly wearing: the Limited Collection nude lace top I bought in M&S whilst mother's day shopping. I have a bit of a thing about lace tops worn with a vest underneath - hinting at extreme sexiness without actually flashing much flesh. This nude version is super cute but the metalwork on the shoulders and the pockets keep it from being too cutesy. I'll also be reviving my beloved cobalt blue draped fit and flare dress that I bought (from somewhere..?) last year. It's super comfy, flattering and one of my favourite colours too. I'll be teaming both with my favourite (and increasingly knackered) purple satin ballet flats that I bought from Debenhams yonks ago. I'll cry when they finally wear out.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Breaking the code of the quickstep?

So in my Dancing With The Stars post last week I said I wanted to see Team Cherico tackle ballroom. This week my wish came true and Chris and Cheryl had a quickstep...

As I've mentioned before, the quickstep is my absolute favourite dance out of the selection that Strictly-type shows tackle. I absolutely love it. I have to admit that I, like Len Goodman, was really fearful about Jericho taking it on. To be honest I thought he would suck at ballroom. Big time.

I don't generally like being wrong, but on this occasion I'm proper chuffed to be. The Cherico quickstep is, simply, ace. The footwork is great, the posture is fab and the music is proper quickstep music. He loses some points for not being in white tie and tails (and slightly creepy facial expressions), but still. I'm really, really impressed. The elimination show is tonight on US TV. If Cherico go, I'll be writing a sternly worded letter. Or something.

In other news, I finished reading Jericho's latest book - Undisputed - this week. It, too, is ace. I can't recommend it highly enough it you're even a casual fan of wrestling. You should absolutely read it if you got the reference in the title of this post. It's by turns hilarious and deeply touching and his writing style is froot*.

*In order to get this joke you must read the book. If that's not reason enough then I don't know what is.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Team Cherico make their Dancing With The Stars debut!

So this week we got to find out the answer to the question 'what happens when WWE and dancing collide on national television?'

Well, the answer seems to be 'good things' if Chris Jericho's first dance on Dancing With The Stars is anything to go by:

Ok so it's a cha cha cha and thus not a proper dance, but I still think this is pretty good, especially for a first dance. I kind of agree with the judges that it was a bit light on content but what there was is done perfectly competently and with the kind of personality most celebs that do these types of shows could only dream of *cough* Gavin Henson *cough*

I stand by my earlier assertion that Team Cherico are one of the couples to watch in this season and can't wait to see more. Jericho doing ballroom in particular intrigues me..!

Also, those muscular arms = hot. Trufax.

Things I'm loving this week: week 5, smelling Guilty

This week I'm mostly ecstatic about the return of: SPRING! How good has the weather been recently?! I am *loving* all this sunshine, it's amazing how much something simple like a bit of sunlight can affect your mood. Being in York in the spring is particularly gorgeous. I'm biased of course - it's scientific fact that York is the best place to live in the world - but look at this photo I snapped today across the road from our flat of the daffodils growing by the walls. It's so pretty!

Long may the lush weather continue!

This week I'm mostly smelling: Guilty. Which is to say, I've just started using a new perfume: Guilty by Gucci. It smells so good! I'm not one for the pretentious descriptions used in perfume ads, but Guilty smells really sexy and grown up. And, as ever with Gucci, has a really luxe bottle. I'm a bit obsessed with it, but am trying to use it sparingly so the bottle lasts longer. I somehow doubt this will work. It never does.

This week I'm mostly wearing: Converse. Nothing new there - I've lived in All Star hi-tops for about the past seven years. But this weekend I got a new pair, perhaps the best pair I've ever owned. The ultimate geek chic shoe: BATMAN CONVERSE! I got them from Schuh (best shoe shop ever) in Bristol and they were the last pair in my size in the shop. Naturally I had to buy them - fate dictated it. I adore them.

This week I'm mostly eating: Waitrose peri peri houmous. My middle class love affair with Waitrose is well documented and since one opened up two minutes from the flat I find it very difficult to not go there and spend all my money every day. Their peri peri houmous is amazing and properly brightens up my lunch break. It even manages to make wholemeal pitta breads taste interesting. Which takes some doing!

This week I'm mostly looking forward to: the clocks changing. Whilst I resent losing an hour of my Sunday morning lie in, the prospect of lighter evenings is very welcome. Especially if this gorgeous weather continues and we can actually go outside and enjoy them!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Things I'm loving this week: week 4

Yes, I'm starting with politics this week. But don't worry. Frivolity returns very quickly.

This week I'm mostly agreeing with: Nick. You see what I did there?! It's very rare I talk shop on my blog but I thought Nick Clegg's speech to Lib Dem Conference over the weekend was one of the best I've heard him give. Check out the video.

Now for frivolity. And also Anton. Keep reading, I've saved him for the end.

This week I'm painting my nails with: MAC Soiree. It's a great bronze polish with a hint of glitter, and looks really classy. It also goes with pretty much everything I own which is useful. It'll always have good memories for me too - I bought it in the swanky department store in Dublin and wore it to go and see Puttin on the Ritz the first time. Good times.

This week I'm travelling to: Bristol to see a number of friends from Uni. I know very little about Bristol other than that it has a Harvey Nichols. And that'll do for me.

This week I'm mostly listening to: Nicole Scherzinger's new song 'Don't Hold Your Breath'. I'm obsessed with it. The lyrics describe my current 'love life' situation exactly. It's almost uncanny.

This week I'm mostly loving Twitter because: basically, Anton is great. Maybe I should just change the name of this blog to that. But he is great. Check out the following evidence. The first is his response to my complaining that my 2010 tour pen had run out and the second is, well, just funny.


See? He's great. The second one is slightly embarrassing given I was somewhat the worse for wear in the conference bar when I sent the original. Note to self: don't tag people in drunk tweets if you don't want them to see said tweets. Muppet. But seeing the reply really made me smile. A lot. Because he's great.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Things I'm loving this week: week 3 (the return of the grump)

I'm not going to lie, this week I'm struggling to find things to love. Currently I have an absolutely streaming cold, the worst I've had in ages. This is compounding the stress of a heavy work week in the run up to Lib Dem Conference this weekend. Even Conference - which I adore - is hardly filling me with joy on the grounds that it involves spending a weekend in the immediate company of the ex. Frankly, it causes me some consternation that we have to be on the same planet, being in the same small collection of hotels and bars in the same city is just a depressing concept. Don't get me wrong, there are loads of people I'm looking forward to seeing at conference, not least some bloke called Nick (with whom I still agree, by the way), but it's not been a month yet and everything is still too raw. At least there'll be wine, I suppose. Lots of wine. Anyway, some cheer:

This week I'm mostly wearing: since it's conference, it's all about dressing it up and breaking out my 'I'm a  real grown up, honest' work wardrobe. I have two training sessions to deliver on Saturday (fingers crossed my voice holds up!) and will be doing so in a Next Peter Pan collar LBD and Kurt Geiger patent purple kitten heels. For the rest of the time, I'm currently thinking* my new ASOS ankle length boyfriend jeans and Sam Edelman sequinned lace up flats.
*normal rules on a woman's prerogative to change her mind apply!

This week I'm mostly eating: PANCAKES!! I love pancake day and am massively excited about over indulging as soon as my flatmate gets home. I'm all about the sweet toppings and went a bit nuts with chocolate, caramel and maple syrups as well as traditional lemon juice and sugar. I've even made some caramelised banana sauce from scratch with no recipe - very proud. I don't know why I don't eat pancakes more often since I love them and they're super easy to make. Probably to the benefit of my general health that I don't though..!

This week I'm mostly planning: lots of exciting things. The best solution to current crappiness is planning future excitingness, as I'm sure someone of note has said much more eloquently. So on that logic I'm currently planning an October getaway to somewhere warm, sunny and luxurious (suggestions welcome). There's also been a week-cheering announcement from Anton: Tour 2012 is on. Needless to say I'll be going. Check out this video for said announcement and other insights that have brought me some cheer:

This week I'm mostly listening to: Kesha. Judge if you must, but I love her album. It's my current post-shower soundtrack and does put a spring in my step.

International Women's Day: a day to celebrate women who are truly inspirational

So today is International Women's Day and I am angry. It's not the concept of IWD that's riling me (although I find it depressing that given we're half the population we still need a day), it's the slew of completely ridiculous polls being released by the media on who are 'the most inspirational women'.

Some examples. The Metro's reader poll to find the most influential female Londoner of the past century, won by Leona Lewis. I mean, come on, really?! Nice voice, sure. Best X Factor winner ever, probably. But most influential London woman of the past 100 years. No. 

How about Sky Living's pick? To be fair, it included some with which I agree (JK Rowling, Helen Mirren, Victoria Beckham). But then it also included Jordan. More depressing, offensively so, was some of their reasoning. Take Tess Daly, who they seem to have decided to include because she took Vernon Kay back after the 'sexting' scandal. Or Claudia Winkleman, included because she dressed nicely and people like her. The one that really made me viscerally angry, though, was Katy Perry, included (and this is a direct quotation) "for bagging Russell Brand".

Now I don't know about you, but for me an inspirational woman isn't someone who's well dressed, pretty or has a hot man. I mean what does this say about what we think women are for? Eye candy? Bearing children? Getting married? Is that really it? Is this the 1950s?

For me, an inspirational woman is someone who's made the world a better place with their gifts, their talents and just by being here. Women like JK Rowling, Helen Mirren, Victoria Beckham, Kathy Freeman, Lynne Featherstone, Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks, my all time hero Judi Dench and all of the millions of other women doing amazing things whose names we don't even know. And of course, my mum. 

As for why we still need IWD, check out this amazingly effective video:

Powerful stuff, Mr Bond.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Things I'm loving this week: week 2

This week I'm mostly wearing: my Wales rugby shirt, since it was St David's Day yesterday. Although I've been living in exile (in a non-dramatic, non-former-despot sort of way) for ages now and am frequently - and correctly - told I don't have a trace of Welsh accent, I'm still really proud of my Celtic roots. Today, I'm working smart casual for a day of London meetings. I'm teaming my Asos dusky pink peg trousers with a plain black top and Dune monochrome brogues. I lose these shoes - the closest I will ever get to being able to dance an Argentine tango!

This week I'm mostly listening to: when the flat is otherwise empty, Pink's Greatest Hits. It's a great singalong album and I have been singing along - loudly - a lot. I'm also loving My Chemical Romance 'Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys'. Not usually my favourite band, but this album is great. Pretty up tempo, not emo, and featuring the truly awesome lead single in Na Na Na. 

This week I'm mostly geeking out over: the Irish election coverage. Specifically, how much better it was than anything I've ever seen over here. The debate was reasoned and civil, the punditry was top class, at no point did anyone dress up as a cowboy (Jeremy Vine I'm looking at you), and it was STV. I'm not going to go into the finer points of why STV is amazing but it just is, and the preference-related punditry it leads to really makes the coverage interesting. This was clearly a game-changing election for Ireland and it was cool in a highly nerdy way to watch that happen. 

This week I'm mostly planning: what to wear to Lib Dem Conference in a couple of weeks time. Specifically, is it purple patent or black glittery on the shoe front? Decisions decisions!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

New Dancing With The Stars line up revealed

I don't normally do lunchbreak blogging (yes I do take a late lunch, what of it?) but this is a quickie. And I am excited about it.

The celeb line up for the next series of Dancing With The Stars was revealed today. For those that aren't aware, DWTS is the American version of Strictly (shown in the UK on Watch) and it runs two series a year. Normally it kind of passes me by to be honest, mostly because I'm never inspired by the celebs (or the pros...) on it.

This series is different for me as it includes a couple of people I am super excited to see! The full line up looks like this: actress Kirstie Alley, radio host Mike Catherwood, (ex?) WWE Superstar Chris Jericho, Disney actress Chelsea Kane, retired boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, actor Ralph Macchio, model Petra Nemcova, rapper Romeo, NFL player Hines Ward, reality TV star Kendra Wilkinson and chatshow host Wendy Williams.

First of all, WWE + Strictly-type-show = my personal heaven. Chris Jericho is/was (he may or may not be returning to WWE at some point) one of my favourite Superstars. His alternate day job is lead singer of the (dubious) metal band Fozzy so you can imagine the sort of swagger going on here! Given how choreographed WWE is, and given how agile Jericho's move set is, he should be pretty good. 

Second of all, I love Kendra, who rose to fame as one of Hugh Hefner's three live-in girlfriends. I loved her in Girls of the Playboy Mansion. I love her current eponymous reality show. I even love her frankly quite annoying laugh. She's not particularly graceful or coordinated but she is really sporty so should have good fitness levels. My mind is currently boggling over quite how they're going to squeeze her... erm... best assets into some of the costumes. I can't wait to see!

The series starts in the US on March 21st. Check out the show's official website for full coverage or this article from the Daily Mail (health warning!) for a UK friendly summary.