Monday, 30 January 2012

Mother knows best...

This weekend was spent with some of my closest pals - enjoying a pub lunch in the countryside, exchanging light-hearted banter, hearing about my friend's new Victorian pad and gazing at the newest addition to our friendship group - baby Oscar!

But, it was when relaying my afternoon activities to mummy dearest, that it became apparent that I am ever increasingly becoming more and more like the most famous fictional singleton in modern history - but unlike Miss Jones, I keep a blog rather than a diary!

You know you're life has taken a turn for the sad and desperate when your mother is offering you fashion/dating advice on a Saturday night! "A nice pair of skinny jeans, with one of those tops with the Peter Pan collar and some ankle boots!"

And, just when I thought I'd side-stepped the cringe-factor - we popped up to Tesco for a few leafy greens and juicy fruits to kick start my new clean and lean diet - and not even two minutes through the doors and Mrs T has pointed out a potential suitor for her first born! And, after hovering over at the magazine stand and trying to persuade me to get in the queue so that I can "chat him up" - I looked more like a potential shop lifter than love interest! Red cheeks, flicking through various glossy titles and glancing over my shoulder at the tall, dark and handsome stranger - and to make matters worse, he was a policeman! So, I'm lucky I wasn't suspected of petty theft as well as sheer embarrassment!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Dress Your Mate To Get A Date (part two)...

After the first outfit was put to the test, it's time for the next brave soul to select an ensemble for me to take out on the town. So, I am very much looking forward to a Westfield date with my trend-setting P.I.C (partner in crime)!

And, so ahead of our mid-week road trip, here are a few of my favourite looks from the latest spring/summer collections...

Pretty prints and pastels from Primark

Quirky scarf prints and vintage glam from Miss Selfridge

All the dresses from Topshop!

Whatever seasonal updaters the Gossip Hound adds to my wardrobe, it's sure to be a fashion hit, rather than a miss!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Easy like a Sunday morning...

Curled up by the fire, watching Jumanji and licking the cake mixture from the bowl...nothing much has changed in twenty years!

Classic movies from the '80s and munching on home-made cupcakes with copious amounts of tea, brings back warming memories of childhood weekends. Give me a basketball, a pavement and a street full of my classmates, and a simple, but fantastically fun game of curby was born! Without wanting to sound like my parents, "in my day" it seemed to be a much simpler time for children. 

  Without getting up on my soapbox and preaching, it is all too apparent that kids are growing up in a very adult world. I grew up in an era where GHDs weren't invented, broadband was better known as dial up and sportswear and gold chains were thought of as fashionable rather than chavvy! A time when kids could just be kids!

And, I feel sorry for the children of the noughties who parade adult outfits and tiny faces full of slap down the street, giggling over text messages on iPhones and discussing the latest Paranormal Activity films. It's no wonder that teachers are having to deal with tiny tots swearing and adolescent children using grown-up language in the correct context. 

So, I feel lucky that my Sunday morning memories are made up of feel-good films, home-baked goodies and Ellesse tracksuits, rather than consumed with the latest gadgets, fashions and over 18 movies, just to impress your friends. 

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Back To The Blitz...

You may have noticed that there has been a considerable increase in the amount of themed nights out in the Capital - which we just can't get enough of! Giving us workers the chance to escape from the weekly routine and get lost in another world.

Recently, we jumped at the chance to dust off our t-bars and fur stoles to experience "The Blitz" a night dedicated to the 1940's - you are guaranteed a swinging Saturday night! If you fancy donning a spotty tea dress and bagging yourself a handsome soldier, visit

Sunday, 15 January 2012

New year, new you...

With the festivities already a distant memory, the January blues have well and truly kicked in. And, like most people, resolutions have been made and already broken! But, unlike the majority of the country, I decided to quit the gym instead of join one, and have pledged to be more consistent in 2012. So, rather than exercising every day for three weeks and then not moving a muscle for three months, I've decided that consistency, rather than sporadic, one-off activities are the way forward this year! 

When my little digital camera finally bowed out on NYE, it was the motivation I needed to invest in a 'proper' camera. And, luckily I haven't needed to spend a penny! After a fleeting visit back to see the parents, my mum produced an old SLR camera, from what resembled a lost and found box, and informed me that it just needed a new set of batteries. So, no doubt I'll be getting snap happy and pointing my new gadget at everything and everyone (for the rest of January at least!)

And, when I've finally found time to put the camera away - I'll be picking up a guitar to finally get around to learning to play an instrument. I've made no secret of the fact that I wish I'd pushed myself to have some sort of musical skill when I was younger - and, at the ripe old age of 27, I've finally taken my first steps to achieve that goal! I can now confidently say, that I have mastered three whole chords! Watch this space to see how long it takes to perfect an actual song, or something that even resembles music!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Older, but clearly not wiser...

As everyone else is on the countdown to Christmas, each year I make myself giddy over my festive birthday (9 days before, don't you know!) and I indulge in excessive amounts of food, drink and presents during the last week of December. And, this year was no different! After heading back to stay with the parents the night before the big day, I (or rather my mum) spent the evening making birthday butterfly cakes to take into work the next day. All four of us piled onto the bed early that morning, to open cards and presents alike, while listening to the broad Irish tones of my nan's singing voice on speakerphone, as she belted out Happy Birthday at 7am!
I arrived early to work to be greeted with my desk decorated in banners, balloons and streamers! I whipped out the butter-cream cakes and relished the chance to soak up the birthday wishes! But, it was press day, so it was back to business in no time - but the comments in my card did not go unnoticed - somehow, I'd become known for my drinking and dancing antics outside of the office!

Now, I did wonder how I had acquired this reputation, that was until we ventured out for birthday drinks later that evening...

Having a birthday the week before Christmas can be tiresome and tricky to arrange a night out at the best of times (everyone is normally ill, skint or busy) - but being the last Friday before the festive period, every man and his dog was out for their yuletide meal, so we were lucky to find a seat, let alone a bite to eat! So, three hours of drinking later, we finally managed to get our hands on some nibbles in an attempt to soak up the copious amount of wine already consumed. But, my vision was already hazy, and my speech becoming slightly slurred, and it wasn't long before I was up and dancing to my favourite Mariah Christmas tunes, before having a few random tears on the Dirty Penguin dance floor, and later fooling a bouncer into letting me into a closed club! I don't quite remember the rest - but what I do know, is that my body rejected that night for the next four days! 

After a slow, painful and emotional recovery - I made my way to Winter Wonderland and to watch the Nutcracker, for a sufficient helping of festive cheer!

It was a lovely weekend, showered with thoughtful gifts and wonderful friends - but also a reality check, that no longer a teenage, I can't quite get away with such extravagant booze-ups! So, perhaps, when 28 rocks around, I'll just stick to a civilised dinner party, rather than beer goggles for one on North Hill in the early hours!

Once again, one year older, but clearly not wiser!

The Only Way is Brentwood...

It's Tuesday, which can only mean one thing...the fashion bible has arrived on my doorstep! And, with an eager eye, each week I flick through Look Magazine to find out what new ensembles are hitting the highstreet stores, which celebs are hooking up with who, and which superstar looks I can emulate next! But, despite being all for a new frock on a Saturday night, I must confess to not feeling like a 'real girl'!

My idea of a beauty regime is dragging a cleansing wipe around my face, while my make-up bag essentials consists of a mascara and red lippy! Adding heels to a pair of jeans and sheer shirt is my take on weekend glam, and running my straighteners through my hair is about as adventurous as my barnet gets. (More like the only way is lazy!)

So, when my uber glam Essex friend asked if I fancied a night at the Sugar Hut, I both jumped at the chance, before recoiling and wondering what on Earth I would wear!
That afternoon I searched high and low down the whole of Colchester high street to try and seek out the perfect outfit. But, with two Topshop items in my hands, I couldn't decide which one was more fitting for the occasion. An emergency phone call to my mum later and I would soon be on my way to looking reem!

But, she wasn't in - and it was papa Treacy who answered! After offering his fashion advice and minutes of deliberation, I eventually purchased a monochrome playsuit to dance the night away in. (Probably the first and last time I will ever trust my dad's fashion sense!)
Now, I'm too scared of fake tan, so I stayed well clear - and while I attempted the false eyelashes, I ended up getting more glue on my fingers than on the spidery falsies and soon gave up! So, with lashings on mascara and the good old trusty - red lippy - the only way really was Essex.

And, it was everything I had hoped it would be! Fake boobs, fake tan and more sparkle than a Christmas Vajazzle! The guys (or boys) looked like they had barely hit puberty and needed to grow into their suits and the girl's hemlines were ever rising! But, the music was fantastic! The dj busted out some old school r&b and I soberly danced the night away to the likes of Jagged Edge, 112 and a little bit of Luther Vandross!

I might not be an Essex girl - but the Sugar Hut really was a reem experience!

Music Makes The World Go Round...

One of my ultimate pet peeves has to be when a new friend or potential love interest asks what music you're into. Now, I'm sure most of us have an ecclectic selection of tunes spanning through the decades reflecting "who we were" at that time - filled with cool indie bands, deep and meaningful lyrics, power ballad divas, guilty pleasures and one-hit wonders. So, answering that redundant question always seems to me a little pointless, because the answer is of course "everything"!

However, at the same time I find it fascinating how people's musical tastes can be as revealing as their fashion sense and point of view. And, it was while engrossed in the latest X-Factor results show that I realised that I am more drawn to how I emotionally connect to the lyrics of a song rather than thinking about if the artist is a credible musician or what the hidden meaning behind the lyrics are.

I'm a fairly simple soul when it comes to how I'm feeling, and usually it doesn't even have to be articulated - it's normally written all over my face before I can even open my mouth! And, I'm not too different when it comes to the songs I listen to. If I'm feeling reflective and philosophical I will usually belt out a gut wrenching tear jerker, and if I'm feeling upbeat and positive then a bit of cheesy pop always hits the spot! I can't deny that sometimes there is nothing quite like the raspy tones of Caleb Followill's voice, especially when sat in a muddy field, complete with icey cold beer and straw trilby! But, likewise, I'm not ashamed to say that Kelly Clarkson is a clear favourite when I'm having guy-trouble and, nothing gets my booty shaking like some old-school RnB!

Now, I love getting up on my soapbox just as much as the next person (sometimes even more so) but I do find it to be a tiring existence to have to constantly prove a point. Sometimes, there is no rhyme nor reason behind it - sometimes you just can't help toe tapping and mouthing every word to One Direction's latest single! But, you don't automatically lose a bunch of brain cells just for bopping along to Mariah Carey, sometimes you just need a little light relief to cut off from the day-to-day stresses of life! So, whether you like cool and quirky, heavy rock, drum and base, smooth and soulful, dirty pop or a lil' bit of country - embrace what fills up your iPod (even the guilty pleasures!).

The Rise of the Quarter Life Crisis...

Is 25 the new 30? With so much pressure on women in their mid-twenties to have reached a certain point in their life, it’s no wonder that 25 seems more daunting than ever. For most of us, a mortgage, promotion and savings account should be well under way by the time we reach the quarter century milestone. But, in reality, that may not be the case. So, instead of splurging on an expensive sports car and getting a dramatic haircut, it would seem that when 25 is looming, we decide to quit our jobs and travel the world, or ditch the single life for a family instead…well that's what I did at least!

After three years at university and two years moulding the start of my career, I'd reached a stumbling block in the road. So, one hungover Sunday, in a quaint Essex cafe, my best friend and I decided it would be a fabulous idea to leave our jobs in the middle of a recession and do a Thelma and Louise tour around the USA!

It was definitely one of the most amazing experiences of my life - but when I returned, the 25-year crisis had started to hit. Penniless, living back at home with the parents and unable to get my foot back in my professional door - a meltdown was about to ensue.

One broken arm and dislocated knee later - I'd started to turn it around again! So, by the time 26 rocked around, I was finally back on track - sparkling new job, cosy Victorian pad and a suitably improved bank balance!

 So, I might still be single, still renting and still shopping at Primark - but the pressure's off for another few years at least!

Dress your mate to get a date...

First dates, first loves and first break-ups - compare notes with your girlfriends and you've probably all ticked every cliche to ever grace a chick flic! And, I too, am guilty of ticking such boxes when it comes to relationships. After a heart-wrenching first break-up, I went through all the motions; copious amounts of alcohol, jumped into bed with the next guy to show an interest, got a "make-over" and had an emotional melt down three months down the line! So, it was after the failure of my second relationship that I decided not to let history repeat itself. 

This time, I was off men for good (well for a while at least!) and after feeling let down by all of man kind, I seemed to don a "piss off and don't talk to me" look with every outfit. It was then that I realised I needed some time out to work on my relationship with myself before I took my bag of past issues into the next relationship.

But, after 18 months of soul searching I was finally ready to mingle again! Yet, I'd noticed over the past year and half I had not been getting any attention - not even a wink! My usual ensemble of ditsy tea dress and brogues was clearly not working in my favour! So, I decided to make the my fashionista sister to ask for her styling advice. I no longer wanted to look "nice" - nice doesn't get you noticed - but looking "hot" is not a look I feel entirely comfortable with. So, once my outfit, hair style and make-up had all been selected I felt a strange wave of confidence knowing that I could only wear this on my next night out.
The big day soon rocked around, and I slipped into my leather-look leggings, white shirt and killer heels. Hair tousled and barely-there make-up and I was ready to hit the town! And, it wasn't long before my winning outfit started working it's magic. I noticed him straight away, across the crowded bar and we instantly hit it off - talking (or, shouting information) at each other over the blaring music - and awkwardly exchanging details before tottering off home.

And, it wasn't long before "Mr pink shirt and glasses" had asked me out on a date. A date! Finally, after 18 months of waiting out the dating game, I had succeeded with the first outfit. Nervous, but excited I headed out for what seemed like a relaxed and enjoyable evening - having a lot in common the conversation flowed all night - until it was time to go home and exchange awkward goodbyes and a peck on the cheek (it's no end of date snog, but a step in the right direction!) I felt positive about the possibility of going on a second date...but the chemistry seemed to fizzle rather than sizzle quite quickly after that. After a short wave of disappointment, I decided to put this one down to experience - I was back on the dating horse again afterall!

So, it's on to the next outfit - who will be brave enough to pick my next one?