Monday, 12 November 2012

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.

Ok, so this is a way more personal post than you'll be used to seeing from me but I felt like I should probably address the fact that it's been almost a month since my last post.

The long and short of it is that my boyfriend and I split up. It's the most pragmatic, rational, adult break up I've ever had so, to be honest, while you might be expecting a lengthy, panic-filled diatribe about how I'm almost 30 and single, this is probably going to end up being relentlessly positive. Much like me, in general! (The title of this post may be a slight misnomer).

After six and a half years (that's 78 months, fact fans) we made the very amicable decision to part ways. If I thought I was losing Matt from my life I would more than likely be inconsolable, rocking back and forth in a corner and living on a diet of cat hair and dust, but that's just not the case. I love him, he's my best friend and, I hope, always will be. So, while I care for and appreciate each and every person that's expressed concern for either me or him, or for the both of us, I just wanted to take a moment to reiterate something that's become my mantra this past week; I'M FINE. HE'S FINE. WE'RE FINE. Also, I love you, thanks for giving a shit.

I understand that the situation isn't the standard and that some people won't believe it until they see it, or will expect our very dull story to be a thinly veiled, intricately constructed ruse in order to mask a seething hatred between us that's been slowly building since that fateful day we met on MySpace in 2005 (There, I admitted it). I suspect those people might be very disappointed when they see that we are, in fact, fine. Our relationship wasn't a normal one, so it stands to reason that the split would be equally abnormal. How many people do you know who could spend all their time working, socialising and living together without being at least tempted to throttle one another in their sleep on the odd occasion?! We just work very well together and I think that over the years, perhaps the fact that we've spent so much time together has meant that our relationship changed a bit. Everything is the same as it was, we're just splitting the finances and sleeping in separate rooms now. And I'm a little less inclined to wash his pants for him anymore.

If this all sounds a bit callous, then I apologise. I'm getting more and more level-headed, sensible and optimistic in my old age so instead of mourning a relationship, I'm looking forward to a lifelong friendship and business partnership. I'd be lying if I said there hadn't been tears or that I wasn't sad, there'll be a strange adjustment period, but I am confident that we've arrived at the right decision. I just hope my Mum gets over the fact that her window for grandbabies is closing rapidly. Sorry, Mum. Love you!

Matt is my favourite person, we've been through a lot together and I think the fact that we can arrive at a place that's so amicable so quickly, just cements how amazing he is. I'm incredibly lucky to have him in my life, in whatever capacity, and I wouldn't change the last 7 years for anything. Onwards and upwards! WE'RE FINE ;)


Friday, 19 October 2012

Recycling Yankee Candles

Yankee Candles are something I have been obsessed with for years now. I don't often use the word 'obsessed' as it's quite extreme but it's a fair assessment in this case. I have them in my kitchen, my bathroom and about 12 in my lounge. Not including the 14 in the cupboard in the event of a Yankee Candle based apocalypse which will result in me being candle-rich when that's all that's left to barter with. Because, y'know, there can never be too much ridiculous hypothetical forward planning.

The thing that annoys me about them though, is that despite their fairly hefty price tag, there's always half an inch of wax at the bottom that you just can't burn. Once the wick is done, it's done and you're left with a significant quantity of waxy wastage which just seems a crying shame to throw away.

In this instance, I've come up with a thrifty solution. Recycling! We can recycle almost anything in the modern age, why not Yankee Candles?!

All you need is a spent candle, a clean, empty jam jar, a heat proof pan and a new wick (you can buy them inexpensively from Hobbycraft).

  • 1. Fill the pan halfway with water and bring to the boil. 
  • 2. Pop the candle in the middle, minus the lid.
  • 3. Wait until the wax has melted then use a fork to remove the spent wick at the bottom.
  • 4. Use a dab of melted wax to fix the new wick to the bottom of the empty jam jar.
  • 5. Using oven mitts, pour the melted wax from the Yankee Candle into the new jam jar.
  • 6. Wait until it's completely set and repeat.

You'll also need something to anchor the wick to the top, whilst you're building up your layers. I used two plastic lolly sticks taped together, with the wick in the middle, so that the sticks rest on the rim of the jam jar. It's also a good idea to pick complementary scents to go next to one another as they merge slightly when they're burnt.

I've done two now and they've both turned out really well. It's a nice way of saving some money, making the most of your candles and trying your hand at something crafty to boot :)


Friday, 12 October 2012

OOTD : Lilac, Ponies and Frizz

It's that time again, folks. The time when I unleash my horrendous fashion sense on my unsuspecting subscribers list, and for that, I am truly sorry. 

My newfound obsession with My Little Ponies began in my last post whereby I ended up purchasing a gorgeous custom pony from a lady at the roller derby. Since then I have invested in a beautiful Sweetie Blue necklace, which was the basis of this outfit. It came from an Etsy shop that you can find here. The lady that makes them has loads and at those sorts of prices, it would be rude not to indulge! 

At the grand old age of *cough* 29 *cough*, I see nothing wrong with a little wardrobe nostalgia. I opted for a lovely little vintage Morgan number from the 90's (although it's quite 60's in style) and some white slingbacks to go with the pastel necklace.

Necklace - minxdenpartdeux / Dress - Morgan / Shoes - New Look

It's perhaps a little unseasonal in that this is something I'd wear in Summer rather than Autumn but I was really taken with the idea of taking something girly and quite young and making it a bit more......well, mature.

My hair just did its own thing. I wish I could say that this was some kind of time consuming uber-do but alas, this is simply what happens when I don't straighten it! I always longed for poker straight hair as a kid but I'm quite fond of the flexibility to do both with minimum effort these days. The grass ain't always greener, folks. Work with what you've got. 

On that note, I shall leave you to go about your Friday evenings in peace. 
Loads of love!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Kent Roller Girls

As a total newbie to the world of roller derby, I have to admit I was nervous as hell when Sugar & Vice were asked to do a stall at Kent Roller Girl's first ever home bout. I'm ashamed to say that my knowledge of the sport was limited to having watched Whip It a couple of times and having a vague, passing knowledge that it was pretty retro and seemed to be big in the States. Other than that, my only connection was that my cats name came from a drunken conversation between friends about what our hypothetical derby names would be. (I chose Lucille Maul.)

We spent a week in the run up working ridiculously long hours, making enough jewellery for the stall in addition to the regular workload, and since stalls is not something we do very regularly at all, making sure our set up was presentable enough. I've known that Sugar & Vice is popular among the derby crowd for a while now and I suspect it's probably for two reasons; firstly that we are most famous for our personalised name necklaces, and what better way to announce their awesome derby names than with one of those? The second reason was something that came to me recently; our company name sounds like a derby name! 

We arrived at Herne Bay High School (which was so swanky, it put my old, shabby high school to shame) at around midday on Saturday and set up pretty quickly. We were sandwiched between two other stalls, the wonderful Rollerbootique and the awesome Custom My Little Ponies by Alex K (my willpower may have failed me when it came to the amazing ponies she had for sale).

This stall was pretty different to any I've done before. Previously, doing stalls has meant being exceptionally patient during the inevitable quiet moments but at this event, there was no time to get bored. When we had a quiet moment this time, we were entertained by the awesome derby. I have to say, I hadn't been entirely sure what to expect but everyone at the event was incredibly lovely and super friendly, the derby ladies were badass and the crowd was massively enthusiastic. I think I've developed a bit of an obsession. 

If you've never been to a derby bout, I can thoroughly recommend it. Doing a stall there was a fantastic experience. The sport itself is amazing, the ladies on the track are pretty inspirational and the people are some of the loveliest I've met in my time running Sugar & Vice. If, like me, you're unsure of it and don't know what to expect, just go along to a local bout. You won't regret it. I, for one, am really excited about KRG's next home bout, whether my place is behind a stall or in the bleachers :)


Sunday, 30 September 2012

OOTD : Last Day Of Summer

So, apparently I blinked and missed Summer. One minute it was Spring and it was looking like we'd have a glorious heat-filled few months and the next thing I know the leaves are falling from the trees. Now, I shall keep my complaints to a minimum because Autumn happens to be my favourite season but still, some sunshine would have been nice, weather Gods! To celebrate what seems like it'll be the last day of sunshine us UK dwellers get, I put a continental inspired summery outfit together. I haven't had much time of late so forgive me, as this one's a little lazy!

I've never been sure which side of the palazzo trouser debate I fall on. That being said, I bagged these babies from eBay for only 99p so figure I'd give them a whirl. They always gave me a real 70's vibe, which I love, but I'm just not sure I'm the sort of person who can pull off such a bold look. 

Please excuse the constipated expression, I was holding in my breath like you wouldn't believe to attempt to disguise the weight I've piled on lately (Whittards coffee syrups, I am pointing my accusatory gaze squarely in your direction, you tasty fiends) so I look a little strange in the face. Also, the sunglasses are there primarily to accentuate the summeryness (what? It's a word) of the outfit and secondarily to hide my lack of make-up and sleep deprived eyes.

Sunglasses - New Look / Bandeau - H&M / Palazzo Trousers - Atmosphere / Sandals - New Look

My boyfriend will be the first to admit that his skills in the photography department are lacking so sadly there weren't any pictures that really showed off just how big these trousers are. They're quite flattering in that they're high waisted but the fact that they're so baggy makes me look a bit.....squat, and considering I'm 5'8", that's almost impressive.  I think they'd be great as a beach cover up but at the end of the day, I just don't think I am convinced by these baggy buggers. What do you guys think of palazzo trousers? Yay or nay?


Saturday, 15 September 2012

Saturday Bargains!

I woke up feeling pretty ropey this morning; I've been trying to shake a cold for a couple of weeks now and the bugger seemed to have come back with a vengeance today, so I decided some retail therapy might perk me up. Now, I'm not really a fan of shopping. I do whatever I can online, which often leads to ill fitting garments that end up on eBay without having been worn, but if I can avoid busy shops I do. Still, the lure of TK Maxx and Matalan literally around the corner from my house was too much today so I popped in to see what junk they had on offer. 

Matalan had a bunch of stuff that I wanted as soon as I walked through the door. I adore chunky knits and big baggy jumpers and there is a plethora of that in there at the moment, lovely browns, dark reds, mustards and navy blues. In the interests of staying frugal I gritted my teeth and walked on past though.

Then I spotted a galaxy print top and snatched it from the rack before I let myself have a second thought. It's lovely, and fits really nicely. I then found some gorgeous studded pumps and although they're not ideal for the fast approaching winter months, I thought they'd be lovely for sprucing up skinny jeans on a night out.

Galaxy top - £12

Studded pumps - £10

After that I popped my head into TK Maxx to see what that treasure trove had in store for me. I've always found TK Maxx to be hit or miss but I always find that if I dig through enough crap, there's always something in there worth buying, and usually at a decent price. I bought some Le Creuset and some cupcake holders for a friend, a Models Own nail polish set (for the same price the miniature sets cost in Boots!), some sweeties for the boyfriend (hope he'll share) and a crazy cat lady mug because, well, how much more fitting could it possibly be?!

Models Own nail polish set - £7.99

Giant lollipops - £2.40

Crazy cat lady mug - £2.99

So, while it might not have had the desired effect; I am still feeling under the weather, it certainly perked me up emotionally and I'm pretty pleased with my bargains! 


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

OOTD : Flamingos!

Argh! I'm rubbish. There I am in one post, apologising for not updating in so long and promising I won't do it again, and here I am in my next post, a fortnight later. Gah. 

It's been all go, as you can imagine! I finished and uploaded my new jewellery collection in that time though so it's not all been pencil-pushing and day-to-day humdrum. It's inspired by the wonderful Carmen Miranda who was just the most colourful, lively, inspirational person. No prizes for guessing why I like her so much! Anyway, if you're a fan of fruit, tropical birds or cameo themed jewellery, you can check it out here.

I took that as the basis of my outfit for this post and put something together that incorporates colour but also flamingos, which I adore. They're so iconic, and I do love a bit of pink so when I saw this skirt in River Island I had to have it. 

The bamboo bangles were a natural fit too. I got them online from a company called Bow & Crossbones that do some lovely pin-up jewellery, as well as hair flowers and accessories. You can find them here.

Top - H&M / Wedges - New Look / Skirt - River Island / Bangles - Bow & Crossbones

I also changed my hair a little, mixing some Directions Lilac with conditioner and staining the roots ever so slightly. I think it worked pretty well although I have a feeling it will be quite difficult to maintain. As well as that, I got a new tattoo on my leg last week! It was based on a design that a good friend drew for me and is a Sugar & Vice coat of arms. I was pretty ill when I got it done though so had to bail after only two hours as the pain was unusually intense. I'm getting it finished at the end of next week so will be sure to get a photo when it's done and healed :)