Let’s Chat – February 2020

For a short month (even though we had an extra day in it this year) I’ve had a super busy time!

Slight disclaimer – I’ve been pretty terrible at taking pictures of what I’ve been wearing (hair and nails are in) but I can reveal I’ve been enjoying a lot of faux leather and statement sleeves..

  • Bad Boys for Life soundtrack
  • Bon Jovi Jonas Brothers
  • Throwback hits on Viking FM

  • Bad Boys for Life: it’s the perfect balance between super serious action film and cheesy cop comedy, deffo recommend
  • Sex Education season 2: even more unanswered questions than the end of last season, sure there’s going to be a third, right?

  • -Saw Michael McIntyre live: last minute warm up gig for his Netflix spesh
  • Saw Lloyd Griffith live: #LetLloydSingAtWembley
  • Saw Jimmy Carr live: a crazy woman claiming she was called Hilary Clinton heckled, a LOT
  • I went on the radio: this time I was on the BBC Radio Humberside afternoon show talking about how blogging can make you more employable (based on this post)
  • Saw Phil Wang live: have we seen a pattern for the month here?? Usually our comedy gigs are far more spaced out, but if ever there was a time I needed a good laugh it’s now so I’m kinda grateful
  • Holiday booking: I’ve booked a girls trip to Ibiza for the month after for my sister-in-law’s 40th birthday. We’re doing the full shebang with Ocean Beach and everything. I’m excited yet a bit scared!
  • I met Latrice Royale: After being kindly gifted entry to the first Pride in Hull Queer AF event in January, myself and Kat booked (and paid for) tickets to the second event which was headlined by Drag Race Season 4 alum Latrice.

2020 is already proving pretty busy and expensive, but I’m very much here for it so far!

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


My Instagram best nine (2019)

It’s that time of year again – when an internet generator tells us all which nine pics had the most likes, we’re all a bit surprised by a couple and we have a nosey at everybody else’s. So here are mine!

1 University of Hull, August

I took this picture to go with my 8 Reasons to Choose Hull blog post in collaboration with the University, and to be honest i think it did well because they reposed it on their social media channels.

I have worked and studied on this campus and it’s just a lovely place to to be.

2 Mykonos Town, August

Well, I think it’s a given that this one was going to be popular wasn’t it! I made sure to capture a lot of images that were very un-Mykonos, as the stuff you see on Insta really is such a tiny part of the island (something I spoke about in my Things that surprised me about Mykonos blog post) but the at the end of the day it is gorgeous there and I’m easily influenced by wanting to take a nice pic!

3 Cottingham – East Yorkshire, June

I took these photos to post on my birthday and I’d just bought a year of birth sweatshirt from Rock on Ruby. I was totally living for the wild meadows all around the area, so one day a vey kind work colleague and I took a little lunch time outing to enjoy the flowers and snap some pics.

4 Lanzarote, April

I went off on my first family holiday in years to a villa in Lanzarote, and on this night the Mr and I sloped off for a cheeky date night. The dress and hat are from Matalan than he had very kindly picked up for on the day we went away (I tried them on in the airport hotel) and they fit like a dream, unfortunately I only managed two wears of the dress before the zip ripped (just as I was about to wear it for a third time and on the way out the door) so that was he end of that.

5 Hull, May

You can tell here, but despite the fact it was spring it was ridiculously freezing! However, it was Bank Holiday and I was determined that I couldn’t have to wear tights so smiled through the chill and hoped my legs wouldn’t look too blue.

6 Lanzarote, April

I tired my hand at a getting a bit of body confidence back and decided a good way to do this would be to post a couple of swimwear pics and see that nobody was going to write anything horrendous in the comments. This was the second of the two I posted (I lived this Next swimsuit so much I bought it in cobalt blue for my Mykonos trip) on a day I felt very happy about Bank Holiday weekend and booking a holiday.

7 Liverpool, June

I headed to my fave UK city for my birthday for a day of chill at a time when my life was very hectic for some not so good reasons. I had cocktails, did some shopping and ate all the food, which definitely helped to give a bit of respite.

8 Mykonos Town, August

This photo was taken at exactly the same time as the other Mykonos photo, it was literally the other side of the camera. You can also see from this angle that I’m just a little bit sunburnt, which is why I was wearing an off the shoulder frock.

9 University of Hull, August

Rounding things off exactly where we started, back at uni with a very unposed shot! This was a very really laugh and it was because my gal Kat was crouched on the floor in front of me saying all sorts of random stuff whilst her cleavage was pretty much in my face. That was a fun outing.

And that, my friends, is some of my year in pics. It definitely doesn’t cover a full spread of my year but it does remind me of some of the best bits. I hope you enjoy looking through yours too.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


So, what have you achieved in the past decade??

So, this tweet popped up in my Twitter feed a few days ago, I’m sure it’s popped up in yours too. Now, people’s answers to the tweet are popping into my feed too, which I’m really enjoying by the way, so naturally thought about what my own response would be.

Turns out, what I have achieved doesn’t fit into 280 characters! So, I thought I’d put it in a blog post instead.

*Dislciamer – no brags, no intent to make anybody feel bad, it’s only the passing of another year so isn’t such a massive deal. Remember “it’s not your age, it’s your stage” we don’t all do the same things, and if we do we’re not all meant do them at the same time.*

1. Got married

I was pretty quick off the blocks with this one and got hitched in March 2010. Neither of us can quite believe it was almost ten years ago! Marriage and relationships in general take a lot of work if you want them to be successful and fulfilling, so I’m proud because we’ve made it this far and still both want to out that work in.

2. Bought and sold two houses Shortly after getting hitched, I sold the first home I bought and bought our first joint house together. We lived there for about seven years before selling up (it never truly felt like home to me if I’m honest) spent a few months in rented accommodation before finding our current place and moving in last spring. This one truly feels like home and I love it.

3. Got a degree I definitely didn’t see this one coming! I decided to take a leap and go full time at university at the grand old age of 28, having become disillusioned with my career and where it was going. It was four years that at times I found really quite hard, but I made it through and doors have been opened for me as a result of the experience.

4. Started my blog 

Another one I didn’t see coming, but one of the things that has shaped my life the most over the past five years without a doubt. It’s given me a passion, a focus away from work, experience to be able to get a foot into my current career, introduced me to new friends/experiences/brands. I still have so much more to learn and that I want to achieve, so there will be a big focus on that as 2020 rolls around.

5. Changed career I used to be a mortgage advisor and now I work in marketing. It’s a much better use of my interests and skills. I’ve been able to work at some really interesting companies so far (my first few jobs were fixed term contracts) and I have a clear direction as to where I want my career to go.

6. Passed my driving test Again, didn’t see this one coming, I NEVER saw this one coming! After I graduated, I thought “if I can do a degree, I can do this”. That pragmatic and more level headed approach ensure that I could in fact do that! I used to think I was just one of those people not meant to drive, with hindsight I think I just needed a more mature approach than I had at 17.

7. Worked hard to achieve some health goals

Although I may have to skirt over the fact that I’ve taken a few backward steps since achieving them!

I’ve been unhappy with myself for as long as I can remember and decided that I needed to sort that out once and for all before I hit 30. I focussed very diligently on achieving my goal for about three years, and by the start of 2013 I was at a place that I felt comfortable and was maintainable to me. I stayed that way for three years before a combination of re-entering full time work and some extreme stress forced my good habits to die hard and never really return.

I want to set myself some new goals but have been a bit scared to do so, however I’ve going started small and try to be less harsh on myself throughout the journey.

8. Visited some interesting and beautiful places I adore travel and find it very relaxing and fulfilling, but I’d forgotten just how many wonderful trips I’ve had in the past decade. To name a few – Barbados (honeymoon), New York (twice), Las Vegas, Barcelona, Tuscany, Santorini and Mykonos.

9. Met some wonderful people My life choices have led me to meeting some of my very favourite people – uni, blogging and work have all introduced and re-introduced such a variety of of friendships into my life that I’m very grateful for. I also became an auntie twice, and those kids are two of the best humans I spend time with.

10. Entered a new decade of my own

Yup, I officially entered my dirty thirties. Doesn’t sound like much of an achievement, I didn’t do anything to be born, however I do take credit for the fact that I’ve made it this far having encountered some pretty awful bumps along the way. I definitely haven’t made through completely in tact, but I’m still here so I’ve made it, and I’m happy with that.

Looking back over the past ten years and realising exactly what has happened in my life has been pretty positive and reassuring to me. I sometimes have a tendency to forget the good stuff if I’m having a particularly stressful time, so it’s nice to be reminded there’s a lot of good amongst the occasional less good.

I would encourage everyone to review the past decade and remember some of the great things that have happened…you may be surprised by what you uncover!

Thanks for reading,

J xx


36 Words of wisdom, wonderings and randomness.

Happy birthday to someone I have known my whole life – frenemy, fashion eclectic (and by eclectic I mean ‘swings between too glam to give a damn’ or ‘how many days have you not washed your hair and worn those leggings for gurl?) and THE best card DJ you would ever have the pleasure of riding with.

Me!

I’ve written down 36 thoughts below, one for each year. There’s nothing more profound than that I’m afraid, but I hope you are enjoyed and amused by at least a few of them!

1. Bridget Jones had it right on the money – whether my dress size says I’m a 10 or a 14, I will always be just a little bit fat.

2. A walk goes a long way to clear your head.

3. Diets do not work. At my lower moments I have hoped and prayed they would, but they don’t. If you go on a diet you have to come off one sometime. To prove it, last year I tried one of the latest weight loss fads, Boom Bod, click the hyperlink to see what happened.

4. Get me on karaoke to Iggy Azalea’s Fancy and I will crush it.

5. Victoria Beckham didn’t start her uber popular fashion brand until she was 34 after a whole other career, so there’s still a chance I could become some kind of mogul yet.

6. I happily fall asleep listening to something ‘murder-ey’ – Snapped: Killer Couples or Deadly Women are my faves.

7. 9 months is pretty much the maximum I can have a hair style/colour before I must change it immediately…then pining for my old look immediately.

8. In this life you’re one of two things: good at selfies, or not good at selfies.

9. I have the same eyebrow lady as Scary Spice (I wonder if she has a pre-appointment pink lemonade like I do?).

10. Some flaws are easier to embrace than others – it turns out what I thought were freckle clusters that came out in the sun are actually a skin condition called Melasma, but I think it’s cute so I don’t actively seek to cover it up.

11. Travel the world, but don’t forget what’s right on your doorstep – get to know the culture and beauty of your own country.

12. Only follow people on Instagram that make you happy or positively inspire you.

13. You can go to Benidorm an experience cool rooftop bars, instagrammable spots and fabulous steak. Trust me I’ve been there and done it!

14. Kusadasi is beautiful and very affordable part of Turkey to visit, but boy do most of the locals seem to despise British holidaymakers…

15. An Aperol Spritz becomes an extra lil’ something when you sub the soda water for fresh orange juice. Aperol Mimosa – you’re welcome.

16. Sunsets are one nature’s most beautiful occurrences, but so are sunrises. Plus, you don’t have to share them with as many people.

17. Why is it called hot chocolate if it’s frozen…is THAT the Serendipity??

18. If you’re in New York City and want to visit Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment, the address is 66 Perry Street in Greenwich Village. It’s a small road just off Bleacker Street, and NYC cabbies have nooooo idea where it is when you ask them to take you there.

19. Strategically placed glitter can cover up sunburn a treat…but can literally take days to remove from your body. Even even when you think it’s all gone…bam, there’s a fleck on your right boob.

20. Not everybody will have the same beliefs or make the life choices as you; one size doesn’t fit all in this life and nor should it have to. You don’t have to understand why others do what they do, but you do have to accept it.

21. I am not Boiler Man.

22. For anyone who questions my driving ability – earlier this year I transported 16 cups of hot coffee from Costa along a very busy road and did not spill a drop (here’s a photo of my friend Rachel who was here to witness this crowning moment).

23. The first time I slept in a tent (well, yurt) as an adult, I woke up surrounded by heavy snow.

24. Meeting Santa is blooming brilliant, even if you don’t have kids.

25. I make a really nice paella.

26. I recently found out that I use the same Smashbox colour correcting primer as a well-known former football manager.

27. There’s a cult phenomenon in Hull called a ‘Shit on the grass’. It’s a shot available in the Old Town called the Manchester Arms, and if you’re ever in the city (or a local that has never partaken) you should stop by and check it out!

28. I once met Chubby Brown (unfortunately on purpose, but not by choice) and he said “testicles” to me.

29. I have also read Chubby Brown’s first autobiography (on purpose) which I quite enjoyed.

30. There’s ALWAYS something good about the place you live (well, I’d say a solid 95% of the time in exceptional circumstances. Find it and be proud! I love that the city I’m from is quirky and filled with street art galleries, comedy and music. Also, don’t let anybody talk smack about your home town unless they have the genuine insight to back it up.

31. Sometimes you’re weird because your are family are weird and they made you. You didn’t stand a chance.

32. Look up. Look around. Do it often.

33. The Dunelm Teddy Bear range is cosy AF, I’d recommend investing in some immediately if not sooner.

34. If we could all truly see the things that others thought were awesome about us for ourselves, the world could be…I don’t know how to finish this because we probably never will, but just imagine.

35. I’m the exact age I’m meant to be . It’s only myself that gives a shit what that number is, and only me that can stop myself feeling oldAF (if anyone has any tips to achieve this, please do comment below!).

36. I am so proud, thrilled and excited to be a co-founder and member of the HEY Bloggers community. I’m glad to say I count many of the people I have met on this journey so far as friends and all round lovely people. Thank you xx

let me know which number was your fave! Thanks for reading,

J xx


Five things that bloggers no longer do

Today marks five years since I decided to start (and stick to writing) my blog. Five years of making friends, challenging myself to be creative with style and discovering lots of different things. Five whole years!!

To make this milestone there’s no giveaway (sorry) no cute photo shoot with a cake or balloons (not that I didn’t want to, I just wasn’t organised enough) and no imparting of wisdom of how to do anything amazing in the blogging world (how I wish I had this wisdom to use). Nope. Instead, I’ve written five differences I’ve noticed since I first streaked claim on a little patch of the internet. I wonder who else remembers and has noticed some of these… (I’ve also peppered a few more throwback blog post pics throughout, enjoy)

1. Bloggers no longer….simply write about an outfit – why they like it, how they styled it , what it’s like to wear etc

My first ever blog post was literally me sharing 2 very ad-hoc photos of what I’d worn the weekend before. It certainly wouldn’t cut the mustard now!

Even with a lot of fashion bloggers and featuring styled outfits, the content of the post is usually something that feels a bit profound, imparting wisdom or an opinion on a key topic. The fashion is just kind of there to break up that chat a bit. That’s probably ended up being so due to the rise of the micro influencers in Instagram (not to mention Instagram Stories and IGTV) and YouTubers, which are much easier outlets to share this kinda stuff on, but I sometimes worry that I don’t have the opinions or the wisdom to keep up with this developing trend.

2. Bloggers no longer…title their posts with something profound or cute

I’ll give you examples using some of my previous post titles – Mono-magic, Peachy, Hot weather cold shoulder, summertime sadness, snug as a fashionista in a blanket cape.

As a marketeer, I’m a huge advocate of something quirky and maybe verging on a bit click-baity, so I still think there’s a place to do something along these lines. However, if you’re calling a spade a spade then people will come and read because they have a more explicit idea of what to expect.

3. Bloggers no longer…have whimsical blog names

I include myself in this one! My blog was called ‘Curious Alice Loves…’ for the first three years, I changed its for a few reasons but the main was because PR messages kept coming to me starting “Hey Alice, how are you?” (That’s very sloppy on the PR’s part for not ready the bio, or e-mail address correctly). I know quite a few people who gave their blog a more quirky name when they first started but then evolved/re-branded down the line to being ‘just them’ (does anyone remember Sarah Ashcroft’s That Pommie Girl?. I admire those who have kept hold of their original name and have a kind of ‘gal behind the blog’ approach as that’s the identity they’ve built, like the fabulous Dorkface.

4. Bloggers no longer…write “PR friendly” in their bio

Never understood this one, never did it myself. I mean, what blogger isn’t?!?

5. Bloggers no longer…engage with each other’s posts in the comments section

This one is the key – everyone used to leave comments directly on a blog post, but I honestly can’t recall the last time I had any of mine. I don’t know whether this just means that people are reading things quickly and can’t be bothered to log in to leave one, whether they’re just looking at pictures or whether they don’t feel they have anything of value to say, but I do find this a real shame. Let’s all make sure we encourage and engage with each other, the hustle is hard!

So, for this post and any others you’ve read over the years, thanks for joining me. I really appreciate it.

J xx


LIFESTYLE / 5 Things for 2019, update #1

As this update is coming about 6 weeks later than I had planned, I should probably address the fact that it’s also my first blog post in about 2 months. The reason? Simply, I had a major content block – I wasn’t sure what I wanted to create/write about, I didn’t want to half arse by putting posts out I wasn’t into (as I’ve done in the last during these lulls) so thought it was better to just not bother. I’m now feeling more ready, prepared and excited to get back on it, so I’m starting by sharing my first update on my goals for 2019

1. Shop in my own closet 75% of the time

So far, so good. I’ve found this one a bit easier than I thought I would. Whenever I’ve been getting dressed in the morning or planning to go somewhere I’ve made sure I have a good hard look through my wardrobe…and my ironing basket (because we all know that’s where most of the clothes live) aaaaaaaannnnnd what I’ve come to fondly refer to as my ‘bed-drobe’ (double bed in the spare room, surely the perks of being a home owner) to see what I realistically had to wear. Once I got over the whole “it’s ok to be seen re-wearing outfits in current society” and “I don’t go out lots and lots, so I really don’t need to buy something new every time” I realised I have perfectly nice clothes and I just need to put them on.

I will say that over the last few weeks whilst being in my funk I have ‘tried’ to do some clothes and beauty shopping but it’s been a bit of a fail and most of the stuff has ended up going back.

The biggest test for me was the launch of the Urban Decay Naked Reloaded palette – with the last few drops I’ve literally grabbed them as soon as they’ve gone on sale, but I’m holding strong on this as I just don’t need it…well, at the moment.

2. Get a home bar

Almost done can you believe! There’s a bar option within our actual house (a full blog post coming about this as soon as I can) and we have a physical bar top in one of our outhouses but haven’t stocked or styled it yet. So it’s definitely going, but not quite there.

3. Un-join the gym and get outside

I can definitely put a big fat tick against this one too, ya girl is on a roll here!

I’ve been going for long walks at least once per week and shorter walks another once or twice, and it’s been great for so many reasons. My physical and mental health have both improved from getting fresh air, and it’s been a great opportunity to catch up with friends and be a bit more sociable. I would NEVER have been that sociable in a gym scenario, even if I’ve gone to a class with someone.

So far I’m feeling that this was the best goal I set for myself for the year.

4. Get out of the house more

Yes, weeeeelllllll… I can’t say for definite that I’m fully on with this, however I’ve made steps from where I was before so things are happening but perhaps slower than I would have liked then to. What can I say; the temptation of a Saturday afternoon nap sometimes has more of a pull for me! Haha. I have been doing at least a little something each weekend towards this overall goal – going out for walks with friends and adding in a coffee stop has been one, making an effort to go and see family, popping to look round the shops, go see a film or out for lunch have been others. I’ll be honest and say some of those times I’ve found it quite hard to get going as I just haven’t wanted to move from the couch, but once momentum is going I’ve felt better for it which is making things a bit easier each time.

5. Drinks out, drinks in

I think this one is OK? My only aim was to not drink aimlessly and think about things a bit more, which I think I’ve been achieving.

I’ve only had 3 real points where I’ve had alcohol so far this year – 1 for Valentines day which was unexpected, another on a nice day in March when I suggested to the Mr that we head out for some laid back day drinks (bloody love chilled afternoons like that) and we shared a bottle of prosecco and mojitos. That’s the sort of thing I wanted to avoid doing on the regular however I’m not being hard on myself for it as Im not likely to be doing it all the time and it went a long way to having quality time and relaxation which is important to me.

The final time was on holiday; again another key test as everybody else was very much in ‘I’m on holiday, let’s drink from lunchtime’ mode, but I simply just had two or 3 when I felt like it, only had something I really wanted and mixed plenty of water breaks in for good measure.

So, what else has been happening in my life since we last spoke?

I’ve been holiday

Last week I got back from a family holiday to Lanzarote. It was a week long break (booked by my in-laws to end at the start of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, extra 4 days off for me) that turned out to be very relaxing and exactly what was called for. I had a great mix of sightseeing, sunbathing, swimming, eating and sleeping (the Mr would probably argue I did too much of the latter!) but I don’t think I’ll be doing any dedicated blog posts about the trip as I haven’t found a content angle that I feel would well. Instead, here are a few pics:

Not gonna lie, I’m petty darn pleased with this update overall! I’m doing well, I’m being realistic and I still have 7 and a bit more months to make a solid difference.

For general day to day updates and more holiday spam, make sure you check in on my social media channels in between blog posts.

Thanks for reading,

J xx