Let’s Chat- July 2020

Quick question: WHERE DID THE SUN GO?? I know we had an extra lovely Spring, but now we can do more socialising the rain needs to do one!

You’ll notice I’ve worn a lot of the same stuff this month – it’s stuff I like and we’re all meant to be shopping more consciously these days (though admittedly I’ve made a fair few new purchases this month) so that’s why!

  • Book of Mormon soundtrack
  • Unsolved Mysteries: It’s a series of programmes rather than a series, so you don’t have to watch all of them (or in the right order) to follow any of the stories. A range of topics from mysterious deaths to UFOs are covered so a little something for all conspiracy or crime buffs.
  • Canada Drag Race: I very much enjoyed it, the lack of RuPaul hasn’t felt off for me at all. There are some great queens so if you’re a drag race fan I’d recommend watching.
  • The Festival: a film by the makers of The Inbetweeners (also starring some of the cast from the TV show and film) that follows 2 new graduates in their first trip to a festival with inevitable mixture embrassing and life defining moments
  • Got my hair done: The day my hairdresser was back open for business, I was the second appointment in her chair. My split ends had gotten a bit crazy and my blonde a bit too brassy, but now everything is smoother and brighter and feeling great for summer.
  • Went out for food: I wanted to wait a little after everything opened to ensure I felt comfortable, so about a week afterwards we treated ourselves to Sunday lunch at one of our favourite local restaurants. People in my local area seem to be behaving very sensibly so I needn’t have worried, the scenes shown in Central London and Bournemouth are absolutely not the case in East Yorkshire!
  • Bought a tonne of new beauty and skin care products: ALDI brought out loads of products that were meant to be high end dupes, I was instantly influenced and ran out to my local to snap up as many as I could! I posted the results on my Tik Tok if you want to see how I got on.
  • Booked a holiday: after missing out on two during lockdown and seeing other people’s experiences of foreign travel, we decided to book a week away in Zakynthos (Zante) for the end of the summer. It gives hotels chance to get into their stride with new measures, and we trust completely that the tour operator will not allow us to travel if they deem it unsafe. I will probably do some kind of travel post as I usually would as well as posting on social media, so you’ll see how we get on.

Lots to look forward to in August, let’s go!

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Random things I discovered about life and myself during lockdown

Yep; you read what sounds like the start of a very profound, slight hippy dippy blog post in that title…but thats not my style!

We’re going more along the ramblings and random musings route that I did in this post last year . I know lockdown isn’t fully over yet but who knows when I’d have published this if I waited for it to end completely….

  • I can do some basic levels of DIY, but I’d rather pay someone else to do it for me
  • Messiness stresses me out
  • I prefer to eat cake rather than bake it
  • A fairly pared back, slow pace of life suits me nicely and is great for my mental health
  • I do in fact have common sense. In some cases, more than some senior government officials (tbf I think a large majority of us can claim this)
  • Its sometimes easier to observe than create what you see in the Internet (specifically Tik Tok) but its fun to try
  • Workouts come in various forms – walking, vigorous decorating or learning the latest viral dance
  • I wear a lot of print. Mainly floral and leopard
  • People will use a global pandemic as a golden opportunity to ‘legitimately’ make their lives easier, and other peoples lives harder as a result
  • I’m a dab hand at covering my roots with a bit of box dye and an unused foundation brush (if you’re reading Chelsea, sorry!)
  • It is possible to teach an old dog new tricks. If that dog is your parents/grandparents and the trick is going on Houseparty for a weekly catch up
  • My Spanish speaking skills aren’t quite as basic as I thought, but my written Spanish still sucks a little bit

And just one more…..

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Let’s Chat – June 2020

In a month where lockdown restrictions were eased and things looked like they were moving forward…

I didnt really have the opportunity to get dressed in anything other than leggings and PJs until the latter part of the month, but when the weather was nice I cracked out some of my fave summer dresses old and new. I also picked up a pair of chunky trainers from Topshop to see if I would enjoy the trend (and get away with them at my age, haha) and I’ve reached for them a lot.

  • A Simple Favour
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 5
  • Catfish
  • Scary Movie 1/2/3
  • Smash Hits ’95
  • Ministry of Sound Throwback R ‘n B Anthems
  • Sounds of the 90s

Another month of delicious food to make your mouth water! Ive finally gotten back into cooking this month, the only photo worthy dishes so far have been my super cheesey pasta bake and veggie lasagne (both Slimming World recipes as they’re the only cook books I have). Although I’ve been trying to reduce my consumption of meat a bit as I seem to have eaten more than usual lately, I enjoyed a birthday BBQ with some more unusual meats (ostrich and venison) which was yummy. My mum also rustled up some corking side dishes of watermelon salad and potato salad which were perfect with the sunny weather. I also had TWO birthday cakes, one of them was my favourite rainbow cake made by a local bakery and was amazing, the other was ‘Cuthbert the Caterpillar’ from ALDI which was also yummy. I’ve been going nuts for the new Ben and Jerry’s Netflix and Chilled ice cream which is peanut butter with pretzel and brownie chunks (I’ll pause whilst you wipe up the drool). Finally, the Mr got us a Piano Bar Events ‘Perfect Measure’ box that contained pre mixed ingredients to make two cocktails at home (we just needed to add ice, shake and pour).

  • Went to the beach: Two or three times me and the Mr went for a morning stroll and sit on local beaches when the weather was nice. They’ve been the only times that I genuinely felt like I was getting fresh air and that I’d blown some cobwebs away.
  • Had a birthday: BUT I didn’t get another year older because, lockdown rules prevent it. My hubby and family gave me the best day and made me feel very spoilt and loved. I’m a lucky gal. I’ll add some photos below to give you a flavour if the day and some of my gifts
  • DIY: Sooooo technically I started this last month ut there were a few delays so I’ve added it here. I decided to decorate my larger spare room a beautifully girly yet chic dusky pink shade.shoukdve been a quick job but – it turned out there were 2 layers of wallpaper and 2 layers of paint to get rid of first, cracks to fill and 2 coats of primer paint before I could even touch it!
  • Dyed my hair a cute colour: I still couldn’t shake the need for a different colour, so I decided to try out the Bleach London Burnt Peach shade (paid for with Boots Advantage Card points, gotta love a freebie). It turn out a really lovely shade and mixed well with the blonde underneath so I was happy with it, although it didn’t last anywhere near as long as the red i used a couple of months back.
  • Had a socially diatanced girls night: me and 4 of my fave girl friends got together in a back garden and drank, ordered Greek food and sang/danced extremely loudly to a variety of throwback tunes. It was brilliant and much needed.
  • Took part in a ‘Task Master’ style day out: my brother-in-law booked this as a fun girls v boys family activity which was hosted by Escape Rooms Beverley to engage people whilst the business is closed. We were set a series of questions and tasks to complete around the town that we had to take photos of and collect points for the most imaginative/quickest to complete/most challenges in a single photo. It was fun and different so if you’re local I’d definitely recommend booking it (its currently free and you could win a free escape room once they’re back open)
  • Job hunting: earlier this month I got the news I am being made redundant as a direct result of the current health crisis, so I’m on the lookout for my next opportunity

And that’s the end of another month and on to July, WOW. I hope you’re all staying safe and keeping well, and thanks for reading once again,

J xx


Hay fever hacks – part 2

A couple of years ago I wrote this post sharing my top hay fever hacks aside from medication that will help to ease and prevent symptoms, and over the last few weeks it seems to have been read rather a lot more than usual! Less traffic and pollution clearly allows those pesky pollens to get through to us better than ever before in the 21st century, so I thought I would add a few more tips and tricks I’ve learnt since the last post to hopefully offer a bit of extra relief to fellow sufferers. I’ve found that they work best alongside taking a standard antihistamine first thing in the morning*

  • Wipe, wipe, wipe it down

If you’ve watched a decent amount Tik Tok as I have, you’ll be singing that as you read…cleaning the house more regularly will help get rid of any pollen that you bring in from outside as quickly as possibly and keep your home a safe haven. Don’t forget to pay close attention to places like sofas and chairs where you may sit in your outdoor clothing, of you can make sure you take off your day clothes as soon as you get home.

  • Garlic – for more than warding off vampires

I was surprised but delighted to learn that my favourite seasoning also acts as a super charged natural antihistamine. Pass me the garlic bread ASAP.

  • Get your (water) vape on

When you have a cold, one way to ease symptoms is to inhale vaporised steam underneath a towel, and the same idea can also apply to hay fever. Instead of vapour rub, add in essential oils like eucalyptus or lavender which will help clear your airways and make you feel relaxed (increased levels of stress are also said to increase the severity of hay fever symptoms).

  • I C you baby

Start your day off with a healthy dose of vitamin C and you’re adding in yet another natural antihistamine to your immune system. Berries are perfect for this and are super easy to add into a breakfast or snack.

  • Shower and hair wash last thing before bed

You’re removing any final pollen from your body before you get in bed so that it doesn’t transfer to your bedding/sleep clothes and continue to affect you in the night (not getting a good night’s sleep is also supposed to help reduce hay fever symptoms).

Between the two posts I hopenyou have some decent ammunition to help make your symptoms more bearable so that you can enjoy the summer.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Let’s Chat – May 2020

In the month I was meant to be heading off to Ibiza with the sis-in-laws and to the hen do of one of my oldest dearest friends, I….well, I didn’t! I’m extremely thankful for all of the people I follow on YouTube and social media for keeping me entertained with outfit posts and video ideas, its definitely spurred me on in some of the activities I’ve been doing.

  • Love Island playlist on Spotify: I’ve never watched the show but they play some damn good songs on it apparently!
  • Bad Boys
  • Rupaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race (I’m gonna be honest and say I didn’t know who a good few of them were, and I’d love to see a UK version)
  • Crime channels on YouTube
  • Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back
  • I’m about to lose control and I think Joe Lycett

I thought I’d add this little section in (for now, at least) as this is something I imagine most of us are living for at the moment! Take out wise, we’ve enjoyed a cheeky bit of tapas and gome made champagne sangria from El Toro and some yummy cake jars from Button Bakery (based in Sheffield bit deliver all over the UK). At home I made an afternoon tea with bucks fizz to celebrate VE Day and have been making some Greek inspired dishes (I wanna go back soooooo bad!) Such as gyros, meze and Greek salad. Nom. For snacks, I finally got my hands on the new mint Malteser buttons which I adore, as well as the biscuits which are incredibly moreish.

  • Organised my wardrobe: I took some inspo from Style Sisters and started using my storage space more effectively. I have a decent amount of fitted storage in my house so I armed myself with shoe racks, vacuum bags, hanging shelves and velvet hangers to make some big improvements. Everything isn’t 100% how I want it but it has made such a huge difference to have everything I need for spring/summer organised and in one place. I genuinely didn’t realise how much I wear print either – leopard, star, heart, even bee print is in there!
  • Experimenting with photo techniques: I watched a couple of YouTube videos about Tik Tok trends for pictures and some looked like they could be executed by someone with limited skills (i.e. my sweet spot) so I thought I’d have a go. You can see some of the more successful results on my Instagram
  • Had afternoon tea on the couch: to mark mine and the Mr’s 10 year anniversary (which was at the end of March, but I was poorly and we were going through a bereavementso it wasnt the best time to celebrate) my mum surprised us with a delivery of afternoon tea from Mrs M’s Secret Tea Room. We arranged everything on our own cake stand and enjoyed in our PJs (also adding in a cheeky bottle of prosecco) and it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
  • Joined Tik Tok: oh yes she did, and now I know I resisted so long…these weird lil videos are very addictive aren’t they! At the time of writing I’ve posted 1 video and am going to have a think about other content I may want to make (if any).

Thanks for reading, J xx


When this is over….

I want to… (in no particular order)

  • Hug my family for a looooong time
  • Have a proper memorial for my nan
  • Go day drinking in Leeds
  • Have Pizza Hut cheest bites
  • Go for a coffee with the girls
  • Book and re-book as many holidays as my bank balance and annual leave calendar will allow
  • Watch with interest to see if the toxic people around me have developed any shred of kindness
  • Buy things off the internet frivolously (yet responsibly)
  • Have my car fully valeted
  • Take my niece and nephew out for ice cream

J xx


Let’s Chat – April 2020

We’re not going out, so you’d think they wouldn’t be much to report on this month. That’s kind of true, buutttt…we live in an age where we can do lots from home thanks to modern technology, so I’ve been pretty much living my life but in a slightly smaller space.

April Jenny still repped a lot of PJs and loungewear, however she also got dressed in some nice frocks for being in the garden or for the couple of occasions she had to go out of the house (If anyone wants to know where any of the items are from, leave me a comment at the end)

  • American Pie movies: the Mr had an urge to watch them again so out they came. They’re in that nice ‘easy, funny, escapist’ category which is needed right now.
  • Gogglebox: how have I NEVER watched this before? It’s so funny! I’m nosey and like peeking in to other people’s lives, and it’s also kind of reassuring to know that other people have the same kind of chats about programmes as we do at home.
  • Tiger King: I wasn’t going to watch this but social media chat got the better of me. It was definitely a watch! And (don’t @ me) I dont think Carole Baskin killed her husband….
  • Inform Overload: this is a YouTube channel that I’ve just discovered. They do a lot of videos about influencers and celebs that help to provide body positivity/reality (sometimes with a little bit of shade thrown in, full disclosure) which I’ve found both interesting and comforting.
  • My lockdown 2020 playlist: I made myself a little playlist on Spotify – it has everything from songs I love to cheese to those poking fun at the situation
  • Katherine Ryan, Telling Everybody Everything: This is the brand new podcast by ‘TV’s Katherine Ryan’ about a variety of topics including first love and pregnancy loss. She does it by herself which is kind of unusual for a podcast, but it’s no different to her doing a stand up routine
  • Said goodbye to my lovely nan: my nan’s funeral was held early in the month (which my family scheduled around mine and the Mr’s self isolation so we could attend). It was a very different kind of service as you can imagine, we did it all ourselves as there was no celebrant. I also went the to go see her in the funeral home, something I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do but I found huge comfort in.
  • Messing about with makeup: I’ve either been bare faced with gross hair or in full glam. I was hoping my skills would improve but sadly they haven’t!
  • Exercise: either for a walk outdoors or a dance fit workout at home. I will say that I haven’t done something every single day, there have been a couple of occasions where I’ve barely moved for a few days in a row.
  • Dyed my hair Rihanna red: I tried light pink, then purple but neither worked, so I tried red and that worked a little bit too well! If I’d had my roots sorted it probably would’ve looked better, but I got over the look very quickly and am still trying to fade the colour out.
  • Drinking: I dont drink often but I’ve enjoyed a few tipples at times of the week where I wouldn’t normally…my most popular blog post at the moment is Make your own Pomada so other people are definitely doing this too! I’ve also been drinking a helluva lot of tea and coffee, but still not enough water.

So, that’s April done and on to May. We’re well into spring, let’s see if that brings us closer to beating this thing.

Thanks for reading, J xx


Let’s chat – January 2020

I’m very lucky that I know a lot of people who serve as an inspiration to me in all aspects of life, probably more so than they realise.

Recently, I’ve become inspired to basically picked up the baton that my pal Call me Amy put down at the back end of 2019 on a slightly different style of monthly roundup post, so that’s what I’m kicking off today.

I think she’s come up with a really good format that I’ve enjoyed reading from her, and personally I think it will be good me to reflect the good bits of each month and actually plan stuff in. Less time spending every waking moment away from work glued to the couch for me this year! So, here we go, enjoy…

– Cardi B, Invasion of Privacy

– Ministry of Sound Throwback Hip Hop

– Eminem, Best of

– 24: Typical me, I only get into a show after it’s finished! Currently on the penultimate series watching Jack Bauer have incredibly action packed days without having any sleep whilst being in his late 40s. True goals.

– Roast Battle (Comedy Central): Funny and savage in one handy half hour segment!

– Friends (Comedy Centre/Channel 5): Could I BE any more hipster throwback?

– Celebrated the Mr’s birthday: He got presents, we had nice dinner and cake, and for the next six months I can pretend he’s only a year younger than me

– Went to a roller disco: Talked into by friends, too scared to do it properly, only accident I managed to have was getting out the car on the way home. Not for me!

– Went on the radio: I popped into BBC Radio Humberside to appear with my HEY Blogger gals on No Filter which was hosted by our Violet! Click the no filter link to listen to our ep.

– Saw Ed Byrne live: This guy was the first comedian who ever made me laugh out loud, yet this is only the second time I’ve ever seen him live and the first time in Hull

– Partied with drag queens: I was kindly invited to the Pride in Hull Queer AF event (which was the same night as Ed, check me out doing double bubble!) where I got to meet the Drag Race UK finalist Baga Chipz!

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Christmas 2019

By the time you read this, I hope you’ve have a lovely time celebrating the festive season and are looking forward to the year ahead.

As I’ve done for the last few years (partly for my own memories, partly for those of you like me who enjoy a little nosey) here’s a bit of a peak at my Christmas Day and Boxing Day celebrations.

Christmas morning waking up at home (at 6.45am, the latest I think I’ve ever woken up on Christmas Day). After exchanging gifts listening to Christmas songs, we tucked into sausage sarnies and watched some festive TV.

Top, Joanie (one of my gifts from the Mr)

Quick change, tidied up the wrapping paper and it was off to see the family!

First stop was my grandparents house, they’ve been poorly this year so weren’t able to leave the house.

After that we headed to my sister-in-law’s for Christmas lunch with the wider family.

We all brought something along and laid it out buffet style, this year we were on turkey duty which was just a little bit scary but turned out really well thankfully!

I was the most stuffed I’ve ever been from a Christmas lunch

I just about managed to roll on to the couch and was put on childcare duty with my niece and nephew (tbh I think they were looking after me more).

After an hour I managed to enjoy a small bowl of my Mother-in-law’s sherry trifle (epic) and open the last of the presents for the day. We gifted our nephew with a table football and his little face was everything.

Boxing Day

This year was different to the norm, this time we hosted and I cooked!

To spruce up our not yet decorated dining area, I picked up these dark great charge plates from Dunelm and made a table centre using a garland I bought from Amazon threaded with battery operated lights and baubles picked up from B&M. I added in white candles (also from Dunelm and B&M) and some M&S Bucks Fizz served in the ice bucket from our home bar (which I promise I will write about at some point soon!)

From scratch, I made Moroccan lamb followed by panettone bread and butter pudding with cream.

If you’ve read these posts for the past 4 years, you’ll know this dessert is my stepdad’s showpiece so I wanted to give it a go to see if I could do a nice tribute to his years of hard work. And I did!

We did a few more presents and then moved to the couch for a brew and game of Cards Against Humanity

My brother won, however it confirmed what I already knew that my family are highly inappropriate and absolute filth!

I’m off work until the beginning of January and will be spending that time having more family gatherings (one at my mum’s new house with her in-laws, the other back at ours with my in-laws) time with friends and general relaxation.

If you have some time off too, I hope you’re able to use it in ways you enjoy. If you fancy more of a nosey, I’ve got a Christmas 2019 highlight on my Instagram which will likely have some presents on there too.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


The great orange chocolate hysteria of 2019

If you’ve read my blog from somewhere near the start (throwing it back to the Curious Alice Loves… days folks) you’ll know I’m a sucker for a trend a lot of the time, so I want to stay true to that aesthetic.

I’m also a sucker for chocolate.

Naturally, when a noteable combining both of these topics arose a few weeks ago, it peaked my interest. I think you know the one I’m talking about…

Cadbury Orange Twirl.

It was announced, the suspense built, the tabloids reported where it could be bought, my twitter feed was flooded with people trying in vain to get hold of a single bar to try, suspense and desire built for it more, Cadbury released more ample stocks into the wild to satiate people before the supply dwindled and again people were left hangry for the taste of what appeared to be the white tiger of the chocolate world.

For me – I had family members on the lookout, I mentioned this is every single group chat I was part of, I even changed the name of my work group chat to ‘Orange Twirl Watch Society’. Eventually, thanks to my pestering of everyone in my life, I got my hands on one (I say one, I actually mean one box. No, really.)

Well played Cadbury marketing team, well played. You created a hype, withheld supply to increase demand/limited edition-ness and didn’t have to spend mega bucks to do so.

So, this whole thing poses two questions. 1, does it live up to the hype in comparison to other orange chocolate products and 2, what is a good substitute if you can’t get your hands on one/when Cadbury stop making them (they’re promoted as a limited edition).

I got you on both counts.

I’ve done the leg work and reviewed orange chocolate products so you won’t have to, you can simply get the best one. Merry Christmas!

Orange Twirl

The new kid on the block. If you like Twirls and orange flavoured chocolate, you’re definitely going to be pleased with this creation of you ever manage to get hold of one. It is as nice as you’d hope for the effort it takes to get them!

Tip – I normally put my chocolate in the fridge (don’t @ me) to make it last longer when I eat it, however this is most definitely best eaten at room temperature accompanied by a good brew.

Terry’s Chocolate Orange bar

Arguably the original founder of the trend, but is it the best?

The smooth texture of the segments make for a silkier taste and allow more of the orange oil flavour to come through, so if you want something very orangey for a decent price then this is still very much a good shout.

Lindt Chocolate Orange bar

The more ‘luxury’ option, it takes on the traditional Lindt form with a softer centre. The squares on each bar are massive, so it could potentially mean you eat more than planned, however it’s so delicious you probably will anyway.

Very silky chocolate texture, lots of orange flavour, this would be an absolute delight of a chocolate to find in your Christmas stocking.

Matchmakers – chocolate orange flavour

Well, they’re an old classic and ’tis the season they usually get cracked out!

They’re very tangy with orange goodness, a little bit crispy and VERY dangeous as they’re so skinny you can easily eat the lot. But it’s Christmas, so what the hell!

Whether you’ve had an orange Twirl, haven’t and need a substitute or just like chocolate and want to justify it as one of your five a day (cos it’s orange flavoured, geddit) now you know what’s what.

I still can’t decide whether this post was a quirk of genius or just a bit weird, but thanks for reading either way!

J xx

Thanks for reading,

J xx