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27 February 2014

Inspirationless

For the past couple of days I've been thinking about what my next blog post can be, and in complete and total honesty, I've had a bit of trouble thinking up something new and exciting for you all. So I've taken it upon myself this week, to give you a little insight into my life and use this post as a bit of a diary of the last couple of days. I know, I know, I am not a photographer by ANY means. But it's quite nice to have a few original pictures, and as the greatest girl band in the world once said, sometimes you need to 'Spice up your life' (or blog). 

This week I had a sudden motivation to up my healthy living lifestyle. Generally I don't eat too badly anyway, and despite living in Italy for over a month I've only had two pizza's, which is actually less than back home as I used to work at a pizza restaurant. So on Tuesday, I took to my local supermarket with Albina, and we went fruit shopping. Because I decided I wanted to turn into a smoothie human. A human who makes lots of smoothies... as opposed to a human who wants to be inside a blender. Every morning, I've been drinking a mixed berry smoothie, after lunch I have a mixed fruit and veg one, and for dinner I generally have a soup or salad of some kind. 

Left & middle: Mixed berry smoothie, Right: Banana, coco powder and soy milk smoothie.
I've also been shopping. Again. This is a problem for me as I don't technically have that much money to spend, I just cannot help myself. The sun was shining, I was wearing really effortless clothes and surrounded by a lot of beautiful people, and I just turned to my friend and said 'I need to go shopping. Right now.' I emerged from Via Cavour an hour later with a whole new outfit, a new lipstick and a new nail varnish. I have 99 problems and all of them are money related. 

New lipstick, new jumper and scarf, all my new shoes, and my newest Essie nail varnish in Mochacino

I know, I was just talking about how I've changed my lifestyle and want to eat healthily and lead the healthy life, but on Thursday night, my friend Alexandria messaged me asking if I wanted to get pizza and gelato. There's something you should know about me. Gelato is genuinely my favorite thing in the world, and after a month of being here and not having had any, I did of course, say yes. How could I not? I justified this with the fact I worked out for an hour today. A whole hour. Something which is a scarce occasion and should be celebrated... by eating the calories I burnt off. So myself and Alexandria embarked on the nicest Pizzeria in the city, and followed it up with a delicious frozen creamy delight. Despite my 'hard' work this morning, I have absolutely no regrets. 


So yes, this has been my 48hours or so in pictures and, to be fair, a lot of writing. I promise next time I will come back bigger and better than ever before. But right now I am not particularly feeling top of my game for various reasons, so I thought at least this is better than nothing. It also proves to my family and friends back home in England that I'm not actually sat at my laptop 24/7 watching One Tree Hill and scrolling monotonously through various timelines and news feeds. That sort of activity is only reserved for night time. 

I hope all of you are having a good week (it feels very weird I can actually address people now that so many are reading this). I'd also like to say how I looked at my viewing figures and where people are from, and the 4 of you who are from Trinidad and Tobago, that is truly amazing and made me squeal a little bit inside my tiny Italian flat. 

Ciao for now! x


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22 February 2014

The Love/Hate of 'Chick Flicks'

Many people know, I am partial to the odd 'Chick Flick.' Me and my best friend have been known to sit and watch a couple of Miley Cyrus films, last year in a free period, I recited the first 20 minute dialogue of 'A Cinderella Story' with another friend, and there is nothing I like more on a Sunday night, than to sit on my bed and listen to Ryan Gosling telling me (or Rachel McAdams) how I am his pain in the ass.

 And yes, there are plenty of faults with chick flicks. The name itself is demeaning to us ladies, as if just because we have a vagina, we can't wait to sit and gorge our eyes on Gerard Butler (believe it or not, this is not always the case). And not only to us hens, but to the men of the world, who want to be able to watch films about romance, family, friendship and eating your feelings without being worried what their 'lad mates' might think. But for me, as a true teenager and romantic, the most depressing bit is the way we grow up thinking our Prince Charming is going to saunter into our classroom or lecture as a bad boy in disguise, and fall head over heels for us before revealing he is actually the kindest, sweetest man on the planet. 

I've addressed in the past how I get attached to film characters, be it animated or real. And yes when I turned 11, I sobbed and sobbed because no Hogwarts letter came for me. But at the back of my mind, I knew, secretly Hogwarts were probably not going to write. The difference with this genre, is that 8 years later, as a legal adult, I still feel Mr Right is going to bump into me and spill coffee down my shirt before getting down on one knee. 

The truth is, we love chick flicks because we like to think we can relate. All of us feel like an outsider at times, I know I certainly do. And these films are never about the popular girls at school, they're about us. The ones who try to fit in, who don't have bouncy hair and short skirts. And that's why we love them, because at the end of it all (and sometimes after a fabulous make over) we still get the guy. It's like a f**k you to all the Plastics of the world. When our boyfriends dump us, we want to think it's because Zac Efron is around the next karaoke bar . When friends turn against us, we want to believe it's for the greater good and all we really need is a Chad Michael Murray shaped man to whizz us off for a brand new start.


I know I'm not the only girl who read Twilight and wanted Edward Cullen as her soul mate, or who watches The Notebook and cries more tears of 'why is that not me', than real sadness afterwards. Half the reason I chose to move to Italy was because at the back of my mind I could see Lizzie McGuire singing in the Colosseum. But the truth is (prepare yourselves ladies), life is hard. Chick flicks don't ever show the morning after, or the year after. They don't show us what happens if a guy doesn't call back. Or if a handsome stranger doesn't jump in to take us to prom. And that is why we love them. Because, despite all of the longing and knowing deep down, Ed Westwick probably won't marry us and Leonardo Di Caprio isn't going to jump off a boat for us, we still think it could happen. 

Despite all of this, I will continue to moan and sob my way through cinema trips to Zac Efron movies, and Netflix fests of Disney films, I will always look at the stranger next to me on a plane and wonder if he's my soul mate. And for now, I will still wonder around the streets of Italy wondering if every guy I pass is the one. But that is ok with me, and it is why we all love chick flicks. Because, despite the unlikelihood of it all, they give us that little glimmer of hope. 

Ciao for now! x

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18 February 2014

Life Update: For the Greater Good

I've started a little theme here with my 'Life Update' posts. I think every so often I will give you all a life update where I simply write a little post about how my life is going and just to check in and ensure people I am not lying in a ditch at the hands of an Italian man or, my own cooking. As you may notice (I hope you have, I have been hell bent getting it to look right), I have changed up my blog a little. Believe it or not, whilst html coding is a forte of mine in life, choosing colours and backgrounds really, really isn't. So, for the moment I am keeping the whole blog white because I can't settle my little brain on a particular background I like but  hopefully it will change soon.

Over the weekend, I developed a sore throat/cough, and despite my better judgement, I went out on Saturday night. Not my wisest move. I awoke the next day, with tonsils the size of golf balls and the inability to talk. Literally, I could not speak. However, I went out with a friend of a friend, and we got on famously. The pain of the next day was also lessened as I met four men (do I call them men or guys?) from California, whilst I was out and all of them were absolutely lovely, so there is hope for me yet. 

 

Unfortunately, the result of one night out has taken its toll on my body and after a trip to the Doctor's yesterday, I am now on antibiotics and have to put a powder in my drink twice a day which makes it taste like cat piss. Not quite the vision I had in mind when I decided to move to Italy.

None the less, I have made some new friends, on Valentines Day I even cooked myself dinner for one of pasta carbonara. A complete revelation to someone who believes pasta and pesto can be a bit too adventurous cooking-wise and next week I have a whole week off whilst my host family go on holiday. So maybe things aren't looking too awful after all.

Ciao for Now! x
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16 February 2014

Man's Best Friend

For those of you that know me well, you will be in no way surprised that the time has come to write a blog post about arguably the most important and loved thing in my life, my dog. As a crazy animal lover from such a young age, it was inevitable I would hold my pets as my near and dear. But 3 guinea pigs, 3 cats and 2 dogs later, I have still got my favorite. Of course, Lenny.

We got Lenny when I was 5, from a settled down travelling family in Luton (classy gals I can hear you say). For as long as I can remember before-hand, me and my little sister had begged our parents for a dog. As we were little when our cat died, we didn't see this as a massive loss, we decided it was the perfect opportunity to start begging for a dog. One day, we were staying at my Uncle's and I remember my parents coming and telling us they had a surprise. They bundled us in the car and took us about 3 minutes up the road to a house and I just remember being overwhelmed by all the puppies. So many puppies. My parents had already been to visit and had picked out the dog with the curliest coat (they were half black Labrador, half Irish Water Spaniel). And about a month after first meeting him, we took Lenny home. When we picked him up I cried and cried and cried because I felt awful for taking him away from his mum.

Although the name picking was a family-event and always discussed, it was eventually me who suggested the name. My mum worked at Milton Keynes theatre, and in the latest show we'd seen, the main character was called Penny. So I basically chucked out some rhyming names and TA-DA. Lenny it was.

When I was about 11, I read Marley and Me. And whilst every animal lover connected with the book, me and my mum (who also read it), connected because Marley was exactly like Lenny. He was out of control and strong and loving and loyal. Lenny has grown into the most faithful (and slobbery) companion anyone could ever wish for, but it is not without his rebellious younger years. When he was younger, he ate through the box my mum kept all her work bits in, and we came in to the whole kitchen floor covered in paper... at the sight of a duck he's dragged all of us over whilst on the lead.... in fact, he ate through 3 leather leads and we had to buy him a horse one.... he has also eaten 6 birthday cakes over the years when we've underestimated his ability to jump, including a beautiful 18th hand made by one of my friends... and everytime he went for a muddy walk, the only place suitable to dry off was my parents pristine white bed sheets. Lenny is quite the adventurer, especially when it comes to water (quick walks have turned into 3 hour ones when he has gone swimming in lakes or up rivers and decided to not come back). 


Lenny has character. I've grown up with a dog who would eat lettuce just because the guinea-pigs were getting some, who when you stop stroking him will nudge his head back under your hand, who will lick Sean the cat without even thinking of hurting him, and who despite his very old age, will climb the stairs just to be with the family when we're in the second floor living room and sleep outside my bedroom next door. 


As I've gotten older, I've started to appreciate his loyalty and companionship more and more. Dogs don''t fight with you, they're not going to talk back, if you're sad over petty things they're never going to judge you, they just sit there and wag their tail and love you unconditionally. Lenny will nudge my door open if it's not shut properly and saunter in. When I come home from being out, he will follow me around the house wherever I go until I settle in one place. He may be old, but he's still faithful as ever to me. 


I can honestly say with my hand on my heart, I don't love anything or anyone more than my dog. Sure, I love my family as much as, but I can't imagine life without him and knowing he is 13 absolutely breaks my heart because I am not naive. The night I left for Italy, I didn't sleep. I sat on my bedroom floor (his back legs are too week now to get on my bed) with him resting on my lap and sobbed because I was terrified it would be the last time I see him. To anyone without a dog, it's going to sound pathetic, but it's true, and anybody with a dog I am sure would happily back me up.

Anyway, this is a little tribute for my unconditional love for Leonard. You can't really thank a dog, but you can let the rest of the world know how much you love him.


Ciao for Now! 
x



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14 February 2014

Valentines Day for One

Ah, valentines day... arguably the most criticised holiday of the year. 'You should show the person you love how you feel every day', 'Hallmark have created this holiday just for money', 'The day to make all singletons feel as lonely as possible', just a few examples of tweets and Facebook status' I read every single year. Well ladies, I for one do not jump onto this bandwagon of hate. Any holiday to me is a cause of celebration, whether or not I'm single, so instead of crying into a heart shaped pillow about how I will never be loved and understood, I embrace this lovey-dovey spirit. And instead, turn it all onto myself. 

That's right, I could care less about the roses and the flowers and the bubble baths all my friends are being inundated with. Usually this day consists of me and my single friends getting together, eating chocolate and ice cream and pizza, but when you are 1000 miles away and don't have a Vanessa-Carlton-type-man to walk the distance, you can bet V-Day is going to be spent alone. Don't get me wrong, I would never say no to a romantic dinner or a massage from an Italian bloke, but realistically this is just not going to happen. Instead I shall be donning some ginormous Bridget Jones knickers, eating copious amounts of chocolate and ice cream and focusing my attention on a series of Leonardo Di Caprio films. Who knows, I may even take a razor to my legs and light a few candles to impress myself. 

So maybe my Valentines day will be spent wondering the ice cream isles of the supermarket instead of lingerie at Ann Summers, and maybe I am ever so slightly depressed Ed Westwick is not waiting for me in all his glory when I return from work. But I myself am looking forward to the prospect of over-eating, staying cocooned in my duvet, and drinking wine from the bottle. Essentially, my standard weekday night.


Ciao for Now! 
x

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9 February 2014

Made In Italy

Those who know and love me, will know I hate physical shopping. Browsing meaninglessly through aisles of clothes and trying on clothes and then queuing up... what a hassle.Whilst most other people went out, pitch forks and flames at the ready to fight for the bargains of post-Christmas-sales, I slouched in my bed, double chin on chest, one hand in christmas choccies, casually browsing through the online bits whilst flicking between tabs. Unfortunately, whilst in Italy although I have gained copious amounts of eye candy and 110 stairs to climb a day (super power butt will be here soon), I have had to trade in the luxury that is online shopping. In fact, I may not, but I'm too scared to ask my host family and I have literally no idea where the post even goes in my apartment building. Do they even have post in Italy? Who knows, not I. 

Due to this, I would never claim to be a fashionista, or a fashion blogger by any means. But it's incredibly difficult to live in Italy and not be claimed by the elegance and ridiculously stylish outfits of Italian men and women. As a girl who lives in leggings and a jumper, I can tell my transition into an Italian Swan is going to be very bumpy. But after a little while in the country known for its influence on fashion internationally, I have been affected. My wages are being spent on shopping sprees where I actually have to leave the comfort of my bed and too much Prosseco. Out with the vans, in with the leather boots. A new addiction my purse and I are just about coping with.

 Italian fashion seems to be a lot less 'street style', the chances of seeing a girl wearing nike blazers and an over sized tshirt are 0-none. In fact, seeing anyone wearing these kinds of clothes are rare. I hate to use the word 'well', but everyone really is 'well' dressed. The men, the women, the old, the young, I thought the expensive labels of Italian clothes were a stereotype, but everybody dresses impeccably. The horrific part for people like me, who can't walk in slippers let alone heels, is that despite the cobbled streets of the town, if you don't wear heels on a night out, you are doing it all wrong. 


I have never really been too concerned about what I wear or how I look. Sure, if I'm going out I will put in more effort, but I've never been afraid to wear something out of the ordinary. A quirky jumper or a velvet shirt (before velvet was 'in'). I've enjoyed different trends and hated others, but I've never felt I have to wear this just because everybody else is. I really do love the effortlessly-put-together dress sense all Italians just happen to possess, but it seems although these fashionistas are definitely more elegant then us Brits, here you have to have a lot of self confidence to wear something not in vogue. I'm used to doing my own thing, chucking on a tshirt and trainers to run to the shops, but here (where I should feel even more free to do what I want since I literally know about 4 people) I find I'm extremely conscious of what I wear in the mornings. Please note Liverpudlians, if you wore your curlers into town here, you will probably be egged. Or arrested. 

Despite my apprehension at changing my wardrobe, I do also happen to love the clothes in the shops here. It's wonderful to walk into the girls section and find femininity on every hanger. Living here is probably (definitely) going to do wonders to both my fashion sense and my pocket. Chucking in the trainers and getting out the boots is  for my own good. I've even splashed out on some heels... 

Ciao for Now! 
x
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7 February 2014

I Hate Being A Grown Up

Happy February! I can't believe we're already into the second month of the year, where did you go January? I have lost a wee bit of the christmas (and more) weight, down by half a stone which is actually a slight miracle because I am not doing anything to help this. Although the 110 stairs up to my apartment has probably definitely helped.

I've been 18 for over 6 months now. Legally of age, responsible for all my actions etc... but to be quite honest with you, I would never really class myself as a 'grown up'. I think most people end up putting themselves in this category when they leave education and or move out. And as I fall into the latter category, at least temporarily, I've realized the times I can borrow a wee bit of dollar off my parents, or expect my kitchen to be immaculate due to a cleaning fairy, are long gone. 

When I pictured having my own apartment in Italy, my little brain focused on decoration, privacy and having my own bathroom....... neglecting to realise that whilst decorating and having privacy is an absolute dream, I am also having negative effects. Yesterday I had a real life adult day. 



Real life adult days do not always involve, as I once thought, going to meetings with big people, screaming at other halves, going for cocktails with girlfriends at 12 noon, reading books in cute cafes and waiting for a potential life partner to walk in... my day actually went as follows..

I went to the Super market (cue another breakdown about having to speak Italiano), and bought my weekly supplies. I then unpacked and after looking around, I noticed my apartment was crossing the line between homely and mess, and there was no one here to change that but me. Cue some marigolds, a lot of disinfectant and mr muscle- the italian version-, a sink full of soaking plates and cutlery, and a trip up/down said staircase from hell to drop off my rubbish bags, I was well into the swing of cleaning my apartment. 

I am currently playing a fun game called 'let's see how long I can wait until I need to do a clothes wash'. And although I do have a lot of clothes left, mainly because I've bought so many, I think the time will be next week. All my faves are currently in a bag for life (my new laundry basket). But as my little bambino is currently ill and the whole family mull around their apartment where I would be doing my washing, I'd rather wait until they won't be about to view my not-so-smalls etc. 

Despite this new found responsibility in life, I am also balancing it all out with coffee-turn-wine meetings, constant netflix watching. Also, my job revolves around making origami and playing lego for 3-5 hours a day. So I am not really in a position to complain, I just quite enjoy it. 

Ciao for Now!

(P.S. I still can't cook)
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2 February 2014

Life Update: Keep Me Away from the Kitchen

My first 'pang' of homesickness came last night. I have never claimed to be a cook. In fact, I claim to be a god awful cook. At home, my family don't even bother asking me because they'd rather spare their own lives. However, one dish I am well accustomed with, is pasta and pesto. Cook the pasta, mix in the pesto and ta da! Tasty and nutritious (well, kind of). So on I went, sauntering around my little stove, ignoring the sizzling sound of the metal on the electric hob. The pasta was cooked to an edible degree, I poured out the water... with a bit of difficulty as I realised I had no colander... put the tea towel to one side, and went ahead spooning in the pesto. This is when I started to smell burning. 'The hob is off so it's not me', was my first thought. However, unlike my stove at home (gas) where once it's off it is off, here, the hob needs time to  cool down. So when I had carelessly thrown my tea towel to the side, I had actually sent it into the heat of the stove, and caused it to set a light. 

I literally set my tea towel on fire. 

Thankfully, no alarms went off. I'm pretty sure I don't even have a smoke alarm, so despite the chances of me inhaling smoke in my sleep being a bit higher, this is a blessing in disguise for the rest of the apartments, because if I did have one, it would be going off all the time. 

To continue my disastrous dining experience, I went about my way (tea towel in sink of course), continuing to mix in the pesto. I settled down with my bowl of delicious carb-y goodness, pressed play on the film I had paused... and on the first spoonful, spat it out and ran to brush my teeth to get rid of the taste. I am not sure if it was the suspicious sizzling noise my pan secretly tinting the taste of the pasta, or the pesto itself. But I can honestly say, it was one of the most vile things I have ever eaten. And I was fed horse today at lunch (a whole other story). Due to my refusal to finish, or even start, my pasta, I chucked it in the bin and decided to put my little bit of Italian to the test. Grabbing my purse and keys, I headed for the Pizza take away place just down the road. As I approached it, I noticed it was absolutely full. Students, adults, children, everyone seemed to think Popeye's Pizza was the place to be. So I approached cautiously, looked at the vast amounts of people, debated how much Italian I really knew, and whether I wanted to embarrass myself this much. And walked straight out. 110 Steps up to my apartment and 10 minutes later, I was on my bed, eating a cheese and mayo sandwich. 

I said when I first came out here, I would either turn into Carrie from SITC or Bridget Jones. 

Guess we all know which I am now... 

Ciao for Now! 
x

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