Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Belfast. My City. My Style

How you dress and the city you live in can define you. Here's my hidden gems. My city. My style. 

The anatomy of my look 

I buy most of my shopping online. Gone are the days where you went into a store and if they didn't have your size it was game over.

ASOS is my go to. Nine to five I'll rock a short dress with a nipped in waist and some ankle boots. Off duty in the summer it's skinny Levi's, bright cami's and tropical prints.Throw on a pleather jacket when it gets cool.



I obsess over shoes with quirky details stars, perspex bows, panda shaped heels or bunny ears. Life is too short to wear boring shoes. 

My favourite accessory is my Kate Spade Caution To The Wind Cross body bag. It's metallic and logo-tastic meaning it looks great equally on a night out or for a trip to the shops.



I spend way too much time in the gym it's only here where I dress like a ninja head to toe in black most of the time but recently I've been dabbling with geometric print leggings and fabletics capri bottoms. Nike and VSX are also a winner.

Hidden Gems 

I love a riffle around St George's Market on a Sunday. Leave your diet at the door. The food is irresistible and seems to taste better in the ambience. This is the spot for a coffee, home-made bakes and one-off pieces of art. I love having a perusal of the stalls while the sound of the local musicians ring out. 

Pink Poodle boutique in the west end of Glasgow is my favourite store. I picked-up an eclectic porcelain pug necklace made by And Mary that cheers up any outfit recently. There's jewellery, clothing and gifts galore thankfully they have an on-line store but nothing beats a visit in store.Shame it's a bit of a trek from Belfast.



Eat

I love to eat local. Belmont Road is literally on my doorstep. Here you'll find lots of excellent eateries. Cafe Smart does the best brunches. The smashed avocado, poached eggs, sun-dried tomatoes and bacon on wheaten bread hits the spot.

If I want a treat I'll head to Bakery Street. Yes the burgers, steaks and meaty dishes are fab but the deserts are where it's at especially the Sticky Toffee Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce, Vanilla Ice Cream & Berries.


On a health kick? Slims Healthy Kitchen has tasty wholesome food. You don't have to break your diet. Post workout you should grab a peanut butter bananza protein shake. Delicious.

Bennetts is also a great spot for dinner. I went for a fishy dish on my last visit. Pan fried Turbot and baby potato, asparagus, carrot and chive white wine sauce. I can't wait to go back. 

Drink 
A cheeky dark and stormy cocktail is the ultimate indulgence in my books. There are two places in Belfast city centre that serve them well. Perch rooftop bar if the sun is shining and Bert's Jazz Bar in the Merchant Hotel. Just don't go too fiery with the ginger ale. Zen also serves exquisite cocktails it's a toss up between their perfect classics or a french martini.
















Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Who stole my stuff?






“Hey that’s my shirt,“ the first time someone stole something from me was in primary school when the gypsy kid who had just moved to St Malachy’s changed into my white shirt after PE instead of her own ratty grey-tinged one.  

I was always a few years bigger in children’s sizes and the bottoms of my sleeves were consistently covered in smudged blue ink, like my hands. Her shirt was too small and you could've grown potatoes in the collar. My protests of theft feel on deaf ears. I didn't have a name tag sewn on.  In hindsight I should've had some sympathy; the kid probably needed a new shirt.   

Fast-forward to modern times and the only person nicking my stuff is Denzel the pug. Most of my favourite socks go to rest in his bed. We won’t talk about the knickers he took from the washing line.

Nowadays I am more likely to have lost something than to have had it stolen, RIP to the countless missing umbrellas making their way around Northern Ireland’s public transport network, the water bottles that were left in the gym and the lipsticks stranded in caf√© bathrooms and potentially the car. 

Sunday, 24 January 2016

10 Thoughts every women has following a Joe Wicks Body Coach plan





  1. Wow healthy food is expensive.
  2. It's been over 20 days, where is my six pack?
  3. Joe Wicks is a hunk, is this why I'm following his plan? 
  4. Avoiding alcohol at parties. Will my friends think I'm pregnant?
  5. Thinking your bodycoach support hero is your new bestie. Shout out to Nechama Simmonds.
  6. Having one slip up and feeling like a failure. Domino's pizza is definitely not on plan.
  7. You think your Tupperware is breeding yet you can't find the correct lid when you're "prepping like a boss"
  8. Build-up bagel where have you been all my life?
  9. You are turning into a gym bore but you can't help yourself.
  10. Boo yah! Where did all this energy come from?

Monday, 7 December 2015

Gift Shaming

The worst Christmas gift I received was a black maternity dress from Topshop. I was just fat not pregnant.

Buying presents is a minefield and to be fair the maternity label was really small, the dress was cute and empire cut, so a curvy girl like me should’ve loved it, right? Or maybe my husband was dropping a hint? Either way I was not impressed that Christmas Day.
Another faux-pas from the other half was buying the same perfume set for me as his mother. It must have been 2 for the price of one on Armani Code. At the risk of sounding a diva a simple check of the bathroom cabinet would've revealed Chanel Chance was my signature scent at the time.
Sometimes it's the unexpected gifts you grow to cherish. Those days of the week pants from my aunt are now ironically epic. The crocodile skin patterned notebook from an old friend looks less tacky and more chic with time. The suede coin purse from my late father in the 90s was a what the hell is this? at the time but is now a prized possession.
I'm not immune from bad gift buying. As a teenager I bought my friend a pink plastic comb set, some frog spawn hair gel and a bag of chocolate √©clairs. She won’t let me forget it to this day.

Before I get coal from Santa I would like to point out that I am spoilt. I have received many considerate gifts and it really is the thought that counts.  Although if you’re stuck and a birthday or Christmas is coming up you can’t go wrong with Urban Decay make-up or something pug related. ;)  

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Christmas Confessions

Cats got the turkey, bad karaoke on BBC Radio One and the Jolly disaster. Time to fess- up I'm definitely on the naughty list.

Paws-Off  

“Quick, quick, do something the cat’s eating the turkey, “ mum cries.  Seven family members are sitting merrily at the dining room table scoffing soup, their heads adorned in paper crowns,  meanwhile in the kitchen the cats have sneaked in and seized the opportunity latching onto the fresh from the oven, golden-roasted, turkey, giving it a good lick.  
That bit went straight into the bin. The untouched part had to be divided up meagerly. There were no leftover turkey sandwiches that year.

Jump with me

In the height of Chris Moyles BBC Radio One  Breakfast show fame the team rolled into town for a Christmas roadshow. Following an on air announcement I was straight down to the Belfast Eye winning wristband tickets from Aled.  
I ditched the office Christmas Do that night in favour of the shindig in the Mandela Hall. The Karaoke  got under way, the drinks were flowing and my friends and I thought sure we can sing.
Up onstage I felt like a rock star as I belted out Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars in what felt like perfect harmony with the group. I shouted  “jump with me” and got a few blank stares, it wasn’t that kind of song I supposed,  but one enthusiastic audience member did leap. At the end of the performance the crowd cheered. We must have killed it.
The next morning  the radio show is on and we are eager to hear our 5 minutes of fame. “Once in a while a talent really blows you away,” Chris builds. “Well these guys really did that…. in all the wrong ways and they say the Irish can sing, have a listen to Gilli, Stuart and Robin.”
Oh ground swallow me up, a chorus of  the most painful, out of tune,  screeching rendition of the Snow Patrol Classic that would make you want to chop off your ears plays. I will never sing in public again. Not even in church.

The night before Christmas

In my early 20s  when you arrived home from uni you got pissed with your old friends in the local pub. Christmas Eve was no different except you got super dressed up and started drinking earlier. The night went in a whirlwind, bopping to all I want for Christmas is you, The Fairytale Of New York and  Last Christmas. A very expensive taxi ride home with a pizza in hand and before I knew it my 10 year old brother was jumping on my bed at 5am screaming “he’s been, Gilli, Santa’s been”.

My heads banging, my mouth is dry, I never been so hungover in my life.  That year presents were wrapped hastily in Tesco bags from under the sink with duck tape, I lost my temper waiting for others to open their presents and couldn’t look at the brussels sprouts without gagging. I cried my eyes out to the snowman and couldn’t concentrate on Doctor Who, even falling asleep watching T.V. with the oldies didn’t make things better. I learnt my lesson. Don’t over do it the night before or you’ll ruin Christmas.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Christmas Time, Glitter, Prosecco & Going Out Of Your Mind!

Have you got a love hate relationship with Christmas? I do. Time to weigh up the pros & cons to decide once & for all if I’m a bah-humbug or Santa’s not so little helper.


Pros 


Bling Your Face off! 

Glitter, sequins, confetti, OMG finally an excuse to put on the razzle dazzle. At this time of year it’s totally acceptable to look like a 13 -year-old whose had a £20 shopping spree in Claire’s Accessories. Life is just better when you literally S.P.A.R.K.L.E.


Fizz! Preferably Prosecco

From the pop of the cork to that first refreshing bubbly sip. Yay let's celebrate. Cheers to catching-up with friends and family, days off work, getting presents bought and wrapped. A champagne glass in the hand and life is grand.

Santa-Paws

What’s cuter than your little fur-ball cat or dog dressed-up as Santa, a Christmas tree or an xmas pudding? Especially when they give you that I'm not impressed look. That is instagram bate right there.

Hometown Returns

Making your way back to the place you grew up in and running into what’s-her-face that you went to school with. That guy you had crush on as a kid is now fat and bald, the college hottie is a frazzled mum of four, while the nerd has blossomed into a total babe with a kick-ass career, you should have befriended her.

Cons 


Buying Presents

You're not a loser * cough * ahem, sorry, organised person who has been spreading the cost, buying thoughtful gifts since June. Nope halfway through November it dawns on you there's 14 plus friends and family members who will be expecting something halfway decent that shows you really get them as a person. The problem is you're skint, Boots 3 for 2 seems the best option and you were lured into gifting the third No.7 beauty box to yourself. Uncle David will love socks and a giant Toblerone, sure he will.

Dat Fat Ass! 

Mince pies with cream, pigs in blankets, cheese souffles, turkey dinners, trifles and the tin of quality streets you keep dipping into means your arse expands at a cataclysmic rate. Moderation is out the window, It’s Christmas, go on indulge, treat your self. Then the second it hits the New Year you revert to a gym rat, juice cleansing, miserable cow.

Shop RAGE

Long queues, packed changing rooms and messy rails in the local H&M. You can't find the size you want, that game your brother must-have has sold out and it seems the price of everything has gone up by 10%. The shopping buzz has died all the while Joy To The World is blasting from the shopping centre speakers.


Christmas Dinners

Cringe central. After a few drinks that harmless office flirt turns into a sleazebag. You can’t let loose because your boss is in the room. The brussel sprouts make you flatulent. If you drop-one on the dance floor it will be remembered FOREVER.
.

Conclusion: I'm a glitter wearing, grumpy cat loving, bah humbug. It’s not ho ho ho it’s no no no. Soz.


Thursday, 2 October 2014

Fast approaching 30

I Think I'm having a midlife crisis. I have 72 days left in my 20s (yes I counted) tick, tick, tick and I'm gonna make the most of it.


Its not like your life magically changes the instant you turn 30. Topshop denies you entry, glitter eyeshadow is banned  and skirt legislation states below the knee only, there's a certain expectation you have to grow-up.

Sod that I'm, keeping the pink dip dye hair! Its true that hangovers have already begin to crucify me. Two days with little movement from the sofa and lots of junk food are the only way to get through it. But I'm not ready to hang up my sparkly dancing shoes yet. More importantly no one is asking me to.

According to a survey by Allure magazine women are most attractive age 31. Sorry men for you its 29. I'm not worried about my looks, happiness is way more important. That hasn't stopped me from buying my first night time "anti fatigue" cream.

Should the worse happen and I wake up with a face full of wrinkles I'll grab my pug Denzel, he's had a wrinkled brow since birth. If he can rock the look so can I. Failing that my husband is two months older than me. That makes me the  younger and more attractive wife.

I can still tell you what song is number one, whether skinny jeans are in and what shade of lipstick you should be wearing. I'm still with it. Just about.