And just like that… I’m sharing thoughts on the next chapter of the Sex and the City franchise

…and just like that: Carrie and her pals have finished their latest run on the small screen.

It’s been almost 2 weeks since the latest installment of the SATC franchise drew to a close, so you may argue I’m a bit late to the party in terms of sharing what I thought about it. Not so. I’ve merely decided to sit back, think about what I saw for a bit first rather than just react.

What I liked

  • Fashion moments: Of course fashion was going to be on here; it’s part of the franchise’s charactet! I use the term ‘moments’ because there were a lot of looks I didn’t care for. But hey, fashion is subjective! My personal fashion highlight wpuld be that UNREAL orange moment on the Paris bridge – it was a quintessential Carrie Bradshaw look for finally saying goodbye to Big and reclaiming her sense of self as single woman.
  • Big’s early departure: For me, this hit the same way that Scream did when they killed off Drew Barrymore’s character in the first scene – unexpected twist that grips you into thinking “jeez, wtf else could happen after that? Better keep watching”. And, to be honest, there hasn’t been a single part of the SATC yet where Carried and Big have sailed through without something, has there? It took 6 series of making up and breaking up, the first film where he jilted her and she cut him out until then very end, the second film where she had insecurities and ended up kissing Aiden in Abu Dabi. Did we we really predict that they’d make it through this part of the story unscathed?

What didn’t work for me

Image credit: New York Post
  • Lack of development for the secondary friendships: for really the first time in the franchise, we saw main characters pursue and develop friendships outside of the group. But, for the majority of time at keast, those relationships didn’t really progress or be pivotal to the overall series. Dare I say that they appeared to be present merely to tick a few more boxes in helping to make the show more well-rounded? Not simply because of any ethnic representation, but to enhance the traits of those they were attached to. Seema was single in her 50s and struggling with it like Carrie. Lisa/LTW feeds into Charlotte’s image of being a ‘have it all and look effortless’ aspiration whilst still be human and having some wobbles behind the scenes. Nya represents the side of Miranda that’s studious and questioning over their life choices (in this case, having a child).
  • Miranda flip flopping her opinions: She was against pot, then it was fine providing she didn’t directly smoke it. She cheated on her husband when she used to find infidelity deplorable. She didn’t want to be in a conventional relationship but then tried to put herself in one. She wanted to study and help people with her legal knowledge but gave it up to support Che’s career ambitions in LA. She let her hair go grey (which I thought looked great, by the way) and was sticking 2 fingers up at societal pressure for women to “age gracefully”, but dies it back red at the end. I have some more thoughts and theories in the next section that help me rationalise some of her behaviour, but as a passive viewer wanting some light entertainment, it was kinda frustrating.
  • Brady’s sex scene: no, No, NO! Firstly, teenagers don’t have the knowledge or skill to be that gymnastic in the bedroom. I was a teenager once, I knew other teenagers, not a single one of us knew a male our age who had the sexual prowess of young Brady. It was also highly unnecessary – the show isn’t called sex and the city so sex wasn’t implied.

What I feel came under undue criticism

  • Miranda leaving Steve: As an OG SATC fan, this kind of didn’t surprise me, it shouldn’t have surprised anyone really. Throughout their relationship Miranda has had bouts of uncertainty  about subscribing to the traditional paradigms of marriage and family life – she didn’t want to have children, have her child baptised, get married or buy a house outside of Manhattan. After submitting to all of those thing eventually, at some point she was always likely to swing back round and have some kind of self crisis about what her life had become. I read another article that described Miranda as Steve’s Mr Big in that he was always chasing after her as the not quite attainable figure to fit his ideal of the perfect life, and I can get on board with that. With regards to the cheating, a lot of people have levied claims of hypocrisy at Miranda as she got upset when Steve did it to her in the first film. Reading into this like the English/American Studies grad that I am; it could be argued that Steve’s prior indiscretion had altered her previous attitudes on fidelity and she now feels it can be justified if your relationship is unfulfilled. Steve wasn’t getting enough sex so he boinked a random, she felt unfulfilled and banged Carrie’s boss in the kitchen.
  • The main characters not having a firm grasp of modern day protocol: as hard as a lot of people try to be respectful of pronouns, sexuality and religion, we’re human and sometimes we get it wrong. It’s perfectly feasible that women in their mid-50s who haven’t had exposure to that kind of diversity before aren’t going to get it on the first go. But we saw the maim characters try to educate themselves in the best manner they knew how. I personally found this aspect of the show relatable; even though I’m 20 years younger I’ve shared a lot of the same thoughts and experiences. If the main characters would have had everything spot on throughout series, writers/producers would’ve been criticised for not portraying an authentic experience of that generation.

Overall, I liked the series. Yes there were some bumps along the way (as many a good series have experienced before it) but be fair – its the first season of a show based on another show from the nineties trying to be relevant in the modern day whilst trying to stay true to the original heart and sole of the  brand. Its a tough sell, one that was always going to disappoint someone.

So I couldn’t help but wonder: what’s next for ‘…And just like that’?

I think the show will ‘carrie’ on to a second series. I think we may start to see one of those secondary character’s come into the fold more as a main character to bring back more of a foursome dynamic (I’m liking Seema for this as she has a Samantha Jones energy about her).

I think we’ll see more of Carrie as she really starts to navigate her way through the dating scene again in her 50s (I don’t know if I see her staying with the hot producer guy but I would love it if she did) and how she combines her current experiences with her new podcast  which I think will become more like her column and start to gain traction amongst some of her OG readers as well as younger new listeners.

I think that Miranda could have another crisis of confidence after returning from LA with Che; having put her goals on pause for somebody she loves and now questioning ‘what about me?’. I don’t think there’ll be anything groundbreaking happening for Charlotte, I think we’ll just see more of her going about her business and being Charlotte.

Finally, I predict we won’t be seeing a re-cast of Samantha. After Carrie meets her for cocktails in Paris they’ll start to rekindle their friendship and continue their text relationship, which will become more frequent. Carrie will try and lean on Samantha to do more, to be more – come back to New York or be on her podcast etc, and that will refracture the relationship a little bit.

So that’s me, keeping an balance mind and optimistic heart for the franchise to continue.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Location, location, location or impractical, unrealistic and impetuous?

I’m sure you’ve heard about Kirsty Allsopp’s recent comments on young people buying a property. If you’re not inclined to read the article, lemme break it down for you:

  • Kirsty stated that young people could easily afford to buy a property if they cut out luxury expenses such as Netflix, gym membership, coffee and going on holiday
  • Kirsty believes that we’ve fallen into a trap of saying buying a property is impossible for everybody, when it’s more a case of ‘where’ you can buy, not ‘if’ you can buy
  • Kirsty herself bought a property at age 21 with family help whilst living in an era of 15% interest rates, low salaries and modest expectations of lifestyle

So is she right?

I have many, many opinions on this that are all very differing! But first, a bit of context – I spent a large portion of my career working in financial services (some of which was as a mortgage adviser) and am pretty cautious about budgeting/spending most of the time. However, like Kirsty, I bought my first home at age 22 with help from my family whilst earning a fairly low salary. I also live in the Hull/East Yorkshire area, which is widely touted as one of the most affordable places to live in the UK.

There’s a lot to unpack within Kirsty’s comments, so I’m going to take them point by point. A reminder that these are my personal opinions; based on research I’ve done on this case, my industry knowledge and the experiences of myself and those around me.

1. People could afford to buy a property if they cut out luxury expenses

So, to read that as a standalone statement is arguably 100% correct. If we’re trying to buy something expensive and we’re not the secret millionaire, we need to budget and save to do so. We know this. But, if we taking a deeper dive, the examples and generalisation of the comments are where some of the argument starts to unravel.

I think that Kirsty could’ve been trying (not very successfully you might argue) to levy her comments at a group I’d refer to as “champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget”. These are the folks who curate an image of an outwardly ostentatious existence – head to toe designer attire, VIP table at the hottest nightspots, driving a top of the range car and jetting off to the latest trendy destination. All of which, is documented on social media. Potentially spending all of their disposable income in a manner that in no way contributes towards being a future homeowner. And that’s their choice to make. Everybody has their own set of priorities, and for some this doesn’t include owning their own home from a young age (or maybe at all). There are many places around the world where renting for the long term is a standard practice and view the innate desire to buy a home as quite unusual. Maybe some young people just want to have a few years of being young; going out, making memories and learning a bit about the world, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

The main misfire what Kirsty’s saying is the examples she’s used when describing luxury items – streaming services, coffe-shop coffee, gym memberships and holidays. These are things many of us have and do, but not always to excess, and are things most people would re-assess or reduce if they were saving to buy a property already. However, I geuinely believe that completely cutting everything “non-essential” is not only unrealistic but unhealthy. Going to work day in, day out and not having ANY kind of release to relax and enjoy your downtime a little? Because that’s all it is in a lot of circumstances, a little bit. As I said earlier, everyone has priorities – for some this means hitting the gym a few times a week, a weekly coffee date with pals or having an hour with your family each evening to watch your favourite Netflix series. All experiences that contribute towards having a happier and more fulfilling life. A house should be the icing on the cake to your life, if it’s what you want, not your whole reason for being.

My personal opinion has always been this – what’s the point in buying a house if all you can afford to do is sit in it?

2. It’s not a case of “if” you can afford to buy, but “where”

Again, the statement said by itself does hold a ring of truth. I know lots of people who have bought their first property in an area they can afford rather than the one they would prefer to live in. Their priority was to get on the property ladder as soon as possible, so to them it was a sacrifice they were happy to make. But, being from a very affordable area of the UK, the difference in location was very short. In other areas of the UK, it be not be quite so simple. There are other things to consider in when you’ve move – the location of your support network, your place of employment and how you can get to and from the places you need to. If you rely on family for childcare and they live 50 miles away, is a change of area likely to be feasible? I have an example of this in my own family. 3 years ago, my mother decided to move to the next county. There, she was able to buy a large property for much less than it would’ve cost where she lived before. The new property is 20 miles away, across a large bridge and hidden in the depths of the countryside, vs the 5 miles away she was before. She’s the primary carer for a family member who, in the event of an emergency (and there have been a few since she upped sticks) is now a 45 minute drive away with the risk that the bridge could close in the event of damage ir bad weather. That move, although it seems minor on paper, has caused difficulty within the family support network that she’s part of.

3. Buying a property with family help

Simply put, It’s just not that easy. I’m know that I was fortunate to have had help to buy my first home, and I’m very aware that it’s not something everybody is afforded. Some families can’t afford to help, some may not want to help.

And it’s not just getting on the property ladder; its making sure you can afford to live there too. Once you’ve bought the house there’s monthly bills to pay, furniture to buy and the cost of fixing things that break, such as the boiler.

In conclusion – I think that Kirsty’s comments were a bit too general and lacking in any context to the present day experience of being a young person or buying a home. My understanding is that the people she helps on TV are presented to her and ready to go: deposit saved, know what they can afford and a set of criteria for her to work with. Perhaps it would be advisable for her to concentrate on the area that she’s the expert in and leave the financial and mortgage advice to those expert in that area.

My final thoughts are these: it’s not your age, it’s your stage. There’s no set age by which you need to have bought your first home, getting married, have kids or do anything life changing. Why rush into the most expensive purchase of your life just to keep up with an imaginary timeline of what your choices should look like by a certain point? Goals are great but make them to suit YOUR life and YOUR terms, then make the best decisions you can to help you achieve them.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


What wardrobe staples do we need post-lockdown?

In January 2020 (I was about to type ‘last year…’ and then realised, nope) I wrote this post about which clothing items every gal should have in their wardrobe.

Life has changed a bit since then though hasn’t it!

As I re-read the post back, I thought “Have my clothing needs and wants changed since then?” And yeah, they probably have a little bit, and I imagine I’m not the only one who feels like that. So I’m doing a ’22 remix – the key pieces of clothing I feel I need to function and feel good in my life:

Blazer

I’m all about a piece that’s a good ‘throw on and go but looks like effort was made’ and a blazer is that for me. I usually prefer one that’s a proper fit (as in not oversized) and doesn’t have anything too fancy about it so it’ll go with a lot of other things in my wardrobe. This one is from Simply Be (it comes in quite a few colours- I also have it in pink and white) and I’ve gotten lots of wear out of it in the short time I’ve had it.

Stompy ankle boots

I mean, I think any kind d of black ankle boot is a must, but the past year or 2 something a bit tougher has been my go-to because they go with virtually everything in my wardrobe and I’m less likely to fall over. The ones I’ve been living in for the past few months are from New Look (sold out now but this pair from ASOS are very similar) I’ve also got some with faux pearl detail on similar to these.

A selection of belts

I’m not talking loads of belts! I have some with gold and silver hardware, some with more details and some that are simple. The idea is to use them to elevate or elongate a look or change the shape of an item. The styles I wear most are this one from River Island that I’ve worn to death for every occasion, and this one from ASOS which is a bit chunkier and more casual

Black jeans

Any shape that you prefer, any texture/magerial that feel most comfortable in. I’m still very much a basic stretchy skinny jeans gal on the daily because they work for the office, the weekend, evening, everything.

Cross body bag

Doesn’t require use of hands and can form part of the outfit. My current go to is this one from New Look.

A dress that can be dressed up or down

Before I specified certain kinds of dress, but I’d just say a style that YOU feel good in. For me that’s usually something tiered and midi length. I’ve bought a few really good ‘can do day or not’ frocks this year from Simply Be which is where this one is from.

Matching (and cosy) loungewear

Rather than just leggings and sweatshirts (of which I still have and wear often) I’ve found actual loungewear to be my preferred option at home. When it’s a little chillier I’m the morning or right before the heating is due back on, having something in a snugglier fabric has just made things feel that bit nicer. I’ve enjoyed wearing sets like this one from Boohoo because I like a bit of a matchy matchy situation.

Boujee PJs

The kind I’m referring too aren’t for sleeping , they’re for those days when you’re at home and just want to feel a bit extra! Some silky or satin feeling is always a winner – I love nothing more than to wear this silk robe from IDentity Lingerie (gifted for a previous collab) to do little more than a face mask and binge-watch a box set. I’m also a big fan of feather PJs which, if you get the right pair, you deffo can leave the house in.

I’m definitely not a capsule wardrobe kind of a gal, lord knows I’ve tried! But I do have some preferred methods of doing things, which are these:

– I tend to go by the mantra “if the shoe fits, buy it in every colour” – if I find a style of clothing I like, I’m highly likely to buy it in at least 1 or 2 other colours! – I try to shop more responsibly and only buy clothing I really love and believe I will get a decent amount of wear out of. – If there’s an item of clothing I see on social media that’s been gifted to somebody a similar size to me, I’ll see if they have a Depop/Vinted account and are selling it on. I’ve done that a few times in the past year and it’s saved me ££ for something practically brand new. – I don’t beat myself up if I impulse buy a couple of items here and there. If it turns out I don’t like it or haven’t worn as much as I though, I can return it, sell it on or donate to charity.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


TRAVEL | Ranking the Greek Islands I’ve visited

This post has been a long time in the making!!

It’s been finished for a little while but I decided to publish it now as a lot of you will have a bit more time during the festive break to look at holidays for next year, so this may make a nice easy bit of reading.

Greece has definitely become ‘my place’and somewhere I enjoy and feel most comfortable going on holiday in recent years. I’ve been to a few more Greek islands and the mainland but I was pretty young and only have hazy memories to be honest! So this should probably be called ‘Ranking the Greek Islands I’ve visited as an adult’.

Islands are ranked from least to most favourite, although I will point out that enjoyed my time visiting every one of them!

I stayed in Agia Marina on the Northwest, which is the opposite side to the overly developed tourist areas. This trip was what I’d describe as an ‘mature girly holiday’ so our main priorities were to sunbathe and have some nice food and drink in the evenings, which we definitely did. The absolute highlight of the week was our visit to the old capital Chania, which is just gorgeous and vibrant. It was in Chania I ate at what I still regard as one of the prettiest restaurants I’ve ever been in, Ella Taverna (it doesn’t have a website or I’d link it).

I’ve talked about my travels to Myknonos quite extensively at the time. What I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned in any of my blog posts is this – we accidentally turned up for our flight 24hrs early so had to pay for another night in the airport hotel / parking. I also realised I’d forgotten to pack any bras so used the extra day to hotfoot it to Manchester and rectify the problem! Even though I saw exactly the same sights as those plastered across social media there were a few things that surprised me, including just how rough the sea was and how busy the tiny little streets were! Our hotel was called Paola’s Town, and lovely as it was it was in a kind of bad location – technically 900m to the centre of Mykonos Town but that was down a very steep road that had not pathway and no lights, which made the journey a bit stressful. That said, we enjoyed some amazing food and drink and a visit to Mykonos Vioma vineyard. Given that the main action and aesthetic is in Mykonos Town which we explored extensively, coupled with the fact that it’s hella expensive for food and drink, I probably won’t be making a repeat visit.

This is the most recent island I’ve travelled to on this list, which we picked because we’d been to Zakynthos the year before so thought we’d try out it’s neighbour. We stayed at White Rocks Hotel in Lassi which was a nice but set out in the most bizarre way. We had a room overlooking the sea and public beach which was lovely but inexplicably the room also had a massive window that looked through from the toilet to the bedroom that was not pleasant! There also weren’t any footpaths or lighting from the hotel to the resort which made going out after sunset a bit dicey (a la Mykonos). I’m not sure if it was because of COVID or whether it’s simply how Lassi is, but things felt a LOT quieter than I would’ve expected for August. We spent a couple of nights in the capital of Argostoli, and lemme tell you things were bouncing over there! I was surprised to find Kefalonia was quite extra and boujee – think flower arches, living walls/ceilings and pristine white interiors. It looked amazing! We made sure we got out and saw a bit of the island too, and everywhere we visited was just as pretty. Greek food is hands down my favourite, but we also had the chance to sample some traditional Kefalonian food too which was a nice change. And we got to see some turtles up close which was a highlight!

Kos has gained its ranking for purely sentimental reasons – it was mine and the Mr’s first proper holiday together when we were newly engaged. We stayed at the Cleopatra Superior in Kardamena which was fine, just your average kinda ‘this is our base’ hotel, although we did have a great view of the mountains, sea and pool from our room. We didn’t leave the resort once or even do much during the week we visited (we went on a boat trip where I got really sunburnt, rented a pedalo and did an afternoon of mini golf, which I lost at) so didn’t see any of the island or try any new foods etc (basically, all of the things we love to do now). We were just a couple of 20-somethings in love and that was all the entertainment we needed! I would be put off returning again splely because of flight times and the sizeof the airport – we had to queue outside to get in and then were basically in a constant queue all the way through check in and departures until we boarded in the early hours of the morning!

Zakynthos was very much a last minute decision – I’d been made redundant after a few months on Furlough andwe’d had another couple of holidays cancelled. We had time, money and Boris said we could so thought why not! It was hands down the most pleasant airport experience I’ve ever had in August – not a lot of people, socially distanced and everything running on time. I think because it was last minute and we just wanted to chill our expectations were low, but we were pleasantly surprised. We stayed in Tsilivi which was pretty buzzing with lots of places to eat and drink (although at the time there was a midnight curfew). We stayed at the Contessina Hotel which I had mixed feelings about – the aesthetic and staff were lovely but some of the rooms were badly laid out/inaccessible and they didn’t provide adequate sizing of things like robes (the Mr and I are distinctly average sized but even the XL didn’t come close to fitting either of us). We took a couple of trips to explore the island, spent the day at a beach club and enjoyed some of the best Greek food I’ve ever tasted. I remember feeling insanely relaxed about life and what was coming next with finding a new job etc, so I think this break put me in the right headspace that led me to where I am right now, so I’ll always have find memories of this trip. I’d be more than happy to go back again.

Santorini was absolutely, 100% everything I wanted and more, I’d love to go back! I wrote about it quite a lot at the time – a guide to the island hotspots, best things to do and a guide to Greek food so feel free to click any of these links if you’d like to know more. Literally everything you look at is beautiful and it’s dead easy to get everywhere. I was told before going that it was pretty expensive, but I didn’t find that at all – everywhere was reasonably priced for food, drink and activities. We stayed in Kamari and could literally see the resort from the airport, if I was going back I’d stay there again as its a nice place in its own right and super easy to travel to other places from.

If you’re interested in seeing more of some of these holidays, head to my Instagram and check out the highlights section or scroll back through the grid to take a look at some more pictures. Unfortunately Kos and Crete were pre-IG so there’s nothing about either of them, but feel free to get in touch with any questions and I can answer or do another post as desired.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Instagram best nine – 2021

It’s that time of year again….

I’m not sure if anyone even does these kinds of posts anymore, but since I’ve been largely absent from the internet this year I thought I’d still continue the mini tradition of posting my Instagram best nine. Pics count down from 9 to 1 and I’ve written a bit of context with each.

9 – Holiday style

In August I jetted off to Kefalonia (which I definitely intend to write about one of these days…) and wrote about how I’d lived in this tomato red skater dress (I know it looks more orange in this light) since buying it, as I’m sure I’ll continue to do when the weather is warm enough to wear it again!

8 – WFH life

I was home alone wearing a lot of loungewear for 3 months and trying to do something cute I spotted on New Look’s feed. Nothing more profound than that!

7 – The post-trolling bounce back

I wasn’t really feeling myself because I got trolled really badly on the photo I posted right before this one (feel free to check out my Instagram to go and see said photo, it was also a Reel), it ended with someone saying I looked like I was definitely going to die from diabetes. Lovely eh? However, this day I was going to get my hair done and to to lunch for the first time since restrictions eased so had made an effort and was feeling alroght about myself. I was kind of annoyed at letting the keyboard warriors affect me tbh, but hey I’m only human.

6 – London calling

My first time back in London for 3 long years! I took a bit of time to check out some old haunts and some I’d never been to before that I’d spotted on Tik Tok (feel free to give me a follow on TT if you happen to be on there) including Neal’s Yard where this pic was taken. It turned out to be about 30 seconds away from the area we usually stay in! We also checked out Ballie Ballerson which is one of the most fun nights out I’ve had this year- great music, great food and cocktails, lots of juvenile fun to be had.

5 – Boujee PJs for days (and days)

I bought this set from River Island to wear on Christmas day 2020, I love the Daily Sleeper ones but couldn’t justify the £300 price tag! The feathers on mine get EVERYWHERE though…this photo was a Saturday afternoon in lockdown where I simply thought “hey, I’ve adulted enough today, let’s dress up and have some fun”. There’s real gin in that cocktail glass and I drank it all! Apart from the bit I spilled over myself trying to take this pic…

4 – Where what the hell you want

If you’ve been with me since somewhere near the beginning of my blog, you’ll know that my body has changed over the years. Right now it’s on the bigger side of where I’ve been before, and I veer between being absolutely fine with how I look and feeling desperate to change. I’m trying to find a middle ground between feeling OK about myself as I am whilst taking steps to create a mind and body that I’m happier in more often than not (not 100% happy, because I don’t think that’s achievable). On this day I was in my back garden in the summer heat in a bikini and felt good, so I posted this pic.

3 – Go shorty it’s your bithday

I enjoy trying to do some kind of fun photo setup for my birthday each year (not sure whether I’ll still think its fun as the number goes up). I spotted a pic on Lucy Wood’s Instagram feed that gave me the inspo for this – I ordered some party bits from Amazon and hung them in my beloved Wisteria tree.

2 – More birthday shenanigans

As my birthday fell on a Monday, the Mr took me out the day before for a bottomless pizza lunch (aka pretty perfect afternoon out). I’d just bought this Floral dress from Simply Be and this was its first outing. I felt awesome in it and got some lovely compliments too. It became one of my most worn clothing items this year – I lived it so often that I bought the jumpsuit and skater dress in the same print, which I’m now equally obsessed with.

1 – Don’t let life pass you by!

It may have been the pina colada talking, but when I wrote this caption I wholeheartedly meant every single bloody word of it. Even though the alcohol buzz has long since worn off, I stand by it. You can’t wait until you feel “good enough” to go on holiday, go to a restaurant, basically live your life. If you do that you’ll miss out on so much.

And that’s it for another year! I’ll leave links below the past few I’ve done if you have a spare 5 minutes and you’re feeling nosey.

Instagram best nine 2020

Instagram best nine 2019

Instagram best nine 2018

Thanks for reading,

J xx


FASHION & TRAVEL | Outfits I wore in Kefalonia

How long has it been since you’ve just seen a good ol’ fashioned outfit post? An easy breezy “this is what I wore and this is where its from”? Well if its been a while, today you’re in luck!

Here’s some outfits from my recent trip to Kefalonia…

  • Swimsuit, Next (sold out in red, I also have it in blue and black)
  • Sunglasses, Quay

Items marked with * have been gifted

Thanks for reading (well, looking at the pictures and scrolling to the end!)

J xx


FASHION |Injecting luxury into autumn

Everybody deserves to feel a million dollars in AND out of the house. amiright? Trick question, course I am!

I’m a firm believer that feeling good about yourself is for all year round, however the change in seasons can sometimes make us feel a bit less like our best selves. So what better than to slip into some sexy silk nightwear* and enjoy a bit of self care as we inch close to towards sipping pumpkin spiced lattes and turning up the thermostat.

This gorgeous black dressing gown is by IDentity Lingerie and is made of Japanese Silk. The maxi length and luxurious feel of the silk make me feel boujee AF; I can step straight out of the shower and have a cuppa (pretty much as I did as these pics were taken) and feel glam. I already have visions of sitting next to the Christmas tree sipping Bucks Fizz wearing this!

Moving on to what’s underneath the robe, satin pink pyjamas*, also by IDentity Lingerie. Same luxurious Japanese silk but lighter weight which means they’re a great for warmer nights or snuggling up underneath blankets near a roaring fire.

IDentity Lingerie also have some slips and long pyjamas in the same material, so you can feel glam in something that suits your style. Not forgetting their beautiful selection of lingerie if you want to take that glam sexy feeling out of the house…

Ive always been a ‘change into nightwear within five minutes of entering the house’ kind of a gal, having beautiful chic nightwear just makes it even nicer. Add in a bit of self care – face mask, something nice to drink, maybe a bit of chocolate and some easy watching on Netflix – and that makes my autumn downtime sound pretty near perfect!

Thanks for reading,

J xx

*items gifted by IDentity Lingerie.


REAL LIFE | Hey, is this thing still on??

Hey Internet,

Long time no speak…not gonna lie, I didn’t realise that it had been 4 WHOLE MONTHS since we last caught up! Time flies when you’re…well, busy! Here’s a brief snapshot of what’s been happening in the world of Jenny Chat:

  • Finally had my grey roots covered
  • Had both COVID jabs
  • Went on the radio a few times
  • Had a few date nights with the Mr
  • Met up with friends, ex-colleagues and people I haven’t seen in forever for brunch, lunch, dinner, coffee and walks
  • Been on 3 weekends away (Leeds and Liverpool)
  • Helped my childhood bestie launch a house raffle
  • Worked on a few collabs Over on Instagram
  • Got a promotion

and I *think* dear reader, that’s about everything!

I didn’t intend to take a break (definitely not such a long one) but in my humble opinion, there’s no point publishing something if I don’t think it has any valid reason or opinion behind it, so I didn’t.

My blog will always feel a bit like home, and I’m not planning to move any time soon.

As always, thanks for following/reading/commenting, there will be more for you to enjoy soon 😊 in the meantime feel free to come and say hey on Instagram or Tik Tok where I have been hanging out a little bit more often.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


REAL LIFE | Khloe: I hear ya girl

Image credit: @khloekardashian

This week, the press and social media have been set alight by a photo of one Ms Khloe Kardashian. I’m not going to include the image because Khloe’s made it crystal clear that she’d prefer it not be seen any further, so I want to respect that. Khlo was relaxing by the pool in a bikini on a hot day, make up free (as I do myself on holiday) when someone took a quick snap of her. Said snap found it’s way onto Instagram and the world and his wife have had an opinion about it ever since.

I guess by publishing this post, I’m now throwing my hat into the ring of this conversation. But it’s not to criticise or offer an opinion, it’s to offer a bit of perspective.

So, here’s the thing. Nobody gets to decide how a person feels about their appearance but that person. No matter how many people tell you “but you look amazing”, “you’re beautiful”, “don’t be so silly it’s not that bad” they can’t make that person feel it themselves. And (most crucially, I feel) if a person has gone through years of being criticised about their looks, constantly compared to others and have struggled to find their place within that, you can’t be surprised when they do things like photoshop/good lighting/flattering poses to look the best you can. So, if they freak the fuck out when an image unexpectedly comes out that could put them back into that negative public arena, that’s a pretty reasonable reaction.

Image credit: kiss.ie

I relate to this, like a LOT. I wrote this post a little while ago about how I’ve spent most of my life listening to other people’s opinions of my appearance – good, bad, unsolicited, from friends, from strangers, in admiration, in disgust, in insecurity. It’s confusing, exhausting and never ending. And I’m just a regular gal! I don’t have a TV show, millions of followers or get followed by photographers everywhere I go, so I can only imagine how much worse that kind of attention could feel.

I’m sure a lot of us have also seen a photo of ourselves that we’re not 100% happy with, but maybe your mum’s taken it and you think it’s going to sit untouched in an album somewhere, so what’s the harm? Until your mum forgets to delete it from her phone and it accidentally posts it on Facebook with all the others photos and you immediately call her up and be like “delete that RIGHT NOW”. That’s all that’s happening here, except my mum’s Facebook isn’t publicly stalked by ‘journalists’ looking to make a quick buck with the Daily Mail, so the impact is much less widespread.

Koko – you’ve always been my favourite Kardashian. I hear you, and I hope others take the time to really hear you too. I stan.

Thanks for reading,

J.


REAL LIFE | I don’t know where I fit in

*This post is about body image and weight loss. Please don’t read it if you feel this may negatively affect you.*

If you’re a long time reader of my blog, or you’re a friend of mine in real life, you’ll know I’ve been through a few changes in my life. We all have I’m sure.

What you may not know is that I still don’t feel like I fit in. I don’t feel like I know what my place is, or should be in the world, because of how I look. Or because of how others feel about how I look.

A bit of a walk through the past explains the why, but not the where. Please read with an open mind and an understanding heart.

Age 5-11

I had a distinctly average looking body for my age (I’m cringing at how awful that sounds to say, but this is where the mind of childhood Jenny in the 80’s/90’s went, as well as those who looked at her) in some photos you could even argue I was fairly slim. But, not as skinny as some of my classmates it would seem, even then. Girls at my school learnt very quickly that the best way to hurt someone’s feelings was to insult their size. I was told I couldn’t play leapfrog in the playground because my ‘bum was too fat’, when I started dance class I was called ‘elephant in a tutu’ both by girls who were supposed to be my friends. Once, I was even punched in the stomach by a boy in my class.

Age 12-16

So, things got better for me at high school? Did they bollocks!

Boys were interested in girls bodies, girls knew it, and girls had further refined their weight-related insults. When I was about 13, I was with a group of friends when one said “let’s all say how much we weigh” so we went round the table, and when they got to me I told the truth (which was about 8st and I was a size 10-12). After a few moments, one of them said “oh no, Jenny is the heaviest” and they all gave me a sympathetic smile. I knew for a fact some of them had lied but didn’t say, because I didn’t want them to be embarrassed, or to look vengeful myself.

It was around this time that my Grandad started to make regular comments about my weight and how I looked. He’d recently gone on a much needed health kick, gotten fit and lost weight, and I was apparently his next target to ‘fix’. Even my mum made the odd comment – once she said if I lost enough weight over the school holidays she’d buy me a whole new wardrobe and all the boys would fancy me.

Early 20s

Came out of a serious relationship, lived alone, thought nobody cared about me, ate what I wanted and partied hard. During this time I received probably the most horrific comments I’ve ever had, some from people I didnt know. At work I was described as someone’s before image, “she looks amazing now, she looked like you before”. Someone else asked why I was so fat when I ran around busy all the time, and an older gentleman who had health related weight issues told me “we have to to be careful, people like us, fatties”. This was around the time I was newly in a relationship with the man I’m now married to and I was so worried all the time thinking ‘why the hell does he want to be with me when everyone else clearly has such a low opinion of me??’.

Mid to late 20s

I was married, had an active social life, and was (now I can look back with a more objective eye) a pretty average body size. Because I consumed too many sweet and high calorie things, towards my later 20s I decided I had to change how I looked after myself so that I could feel more positive and less lethargic. I figured making changes before I hit 30 would be easier than making them later.

Early 30s

I’d made the aforementioned changes, feeling more lively and I looked different. Quite different actually. It was the first time I’d ever been considered a ‘slim girl’ in my whole life. I went through moments of being proud of myself for making changes I felt I needed and sticking with them, actually looking in the mirror and feeling aright about myself, yet confused by how other people’s opinions of me suddenly changed.

Any time I posted a photo on Facebook, dozens of acquaintances would comment calling me a skinny minnie, saying I looked amazing and asking for my ‘secret’. In the real world I had strangers come up to me to telling me I looked good, van drivers honking their horns at me when I went for a walk. One time, a car full of blokes stopped in the middle of the street and shouted things about my arse out of the window. I’d NEVER dealt with anything like this before and I felt overwhelmed and embarrassed by it. I wasn’t doing anything to invite attention, I was just out in the world going about my life.

Despite this, people were still mean sometimes. When I’d go to check my weight and measurements every week (I personally found this helped track my progress) I’d be tapped on the shoulder at least once and be asked “why are you here to get weighed love, you’re already dead skinny?”. There were points when my friends didn’t seem particularly friendly either. They weren’t impressed that I’d stopped drinking, chose meals more carefully when I went out, and they weren’t shy about letting me know. They would make neggy comments to me, or say our other friends looked nice but would never say it to me like they used to. They told me I was boring or acting like “a bit of a pyscho” about my diet. Even now, if I bring up my weight or how I look, they will ‘remind’ me I was “not nice to be around” .

My family, on the other hand, were bloody delighted with my progress. They would never miss an opportunity to tell me “how much better” I looked and how worried they used to be that I was killing myself before but were too scared to say anything. You’d think that’d be nice, but it made me feel almost as awkward. Had they all been judging me behind my back for years? But STILL my Grandad wasn’t pleased. He still thought it I hadn’t lost enough weight loss I was “too wobbly” (I was, so what) but I’d learnt to tune him out a bit by then.

Mid 30s

I re-entered the world of work (after spending 5yrs at uni) and had to deal with some very toxic people. The result? Started drinking, eating more sweet and high calorie food, none of my clothes fit me anymore. I felt sad that I’d undone a lot of my hard work and angry that I’d let hateful people drive me to such a low and vulnerable point. By the time they exited my life (not nearly soon enough) the rot had set in quite severely. I’d been blogging about three years at this point, yet could barely even look at myself in the mirror and before taking photos and going places to write about in my posts.

This was also the time the Facebook acquaintances reappeared. This time, the opening line was usually “so what happened to you?” or “you look a bit different now.”

No neggy comments from the family, but don’t worry, they’ll be back soon…

Late 30s

And this brings us nicely to where I am today. Which, to be honest, probably isn’t that nice.

One toxic work situation ended but I somehow found myself in another about six months later. This time it was much, much worse and lasted twice as long. I comfort ate my ass off, got the biggest I have ever been, hated myself and the rest of the world for pretty much everything. And I must’ve fallen pretty hard into the depths of despair, as I had family and close friends begging me to get help. When speaking to my friends about wanting to lose weight and feel more comfortable again, the response I got was “yeah definitely, but don’t go crazy like you did before. You got too skinny and it wasn’t nice.”

I then gained a few ‘Furlough pounds’ as a lot of people did, and that’s when Grandad finally decided to pipe up again and let me know once and for all how disappointed he was in me. I know its difficult when dealing with the older generation; they have no filter or concept of how their words can be perceived, but let me tell you his cut deep. Phrases such as “we need to walk you/weigh you”, “So what clothes are yoy wearing now?” And “I’m trying not to hurt your feelings here but you really need to do something about this” have hurt my feelings a lot, to the point where I’m welling up as a type this. I have a mirror; I know what I’ve looked like before and I know what I look like now. I know what my goals are and how to achieve them. Behind the scenes, I may even be quietly doing just that. But you think I feel like turning into Jane Fonda after someone I love has ripped my self confidence a new one? No I do not.

So after reading that, do you know where I fit in, how I should feel what I should do? I figure I may as well invite comments at this point; enough people have given them anyway up to this point and I’m fresh out of ideas at this point!

Thank you for making it to the end of this post, and for getting here with (hopefully still) an open mind and understanding heart. I appreciate it lots.

J xx