IntuMetrocentre's #IntuFashion Event

Spring /Summer fashion has been creeping it’s way into the shops for a while now. Seeing all those bright colours and floral prints cheers me right up – I’m picturing sunny walks along the coast and sipping Pimms in the garden. Then I remember I live in the North East of England and it’s likely we’ll get approximately 2.5 warm, sunny days between now and October. But still, I can dream (or book a holiday somewhere far, far away). Either way, I make sure I’m prepared for the (2.5 days of) sunshine by buying lots of pretty summer clothes. This is where IntuMetrocentre gives me a hand with some fashion inspo at their #IntuFashion event this week. Running from 27th to 30th April, there’ll be catwalk shows showcasing SS17 collections from the likes of Topshop, House of Fraser, Accessorize, Coast and Primark – something for everyone, basically – with the models strutting their stuff to the latest tunes. So you can legitimately stare at good looking men in shorts and have a little boogie at the same time. Winning!

Stores will be offering discounts throughout the event, too, so you’re actually saving money. Well done, you! You should reward yourself by buying that handbag. Yes, I really should. I mean – you should. You. Yes, that’s what I meant. Seriously, though, this is a great way to save some cash on your summer wardrobe without having to wait until the sales (when summer will be a distant memory) – just pop to the customer service desk and pick up a leaflet for details.

And if you need any more convincing about getting yourself a new summer wardrobe, how about getting rid of stuff you don’t wear (to make room for the new stuff, obvs) and doing a good deed in the process? IntuMetrocentre are working closely with St Oswald’s Hospice this year, and are collecting donations of unwanted clothing. Charity bags can be obtained from the customer service desk and handed in at any St Oswald’s store.

So, seems like it’s settled. I’m ditching a load of clothing that’s cluttering my wardrobe and making way for some new summer threads. I’ve got my eye on anything embroidered, floral or blush pink – check out these picks:

IntuMetrocentre’s SS17 #IntuFashion event runs from Thurs 27th to Sunday 30th April, with catwalk shows taking place regularly in the main town square outside House of Fraser:

     Thursday 27 April: 12pm2pm4pm6pm
Friday 28 April: 12pm2pm4pm6pm
Saturday 29 April: 11am1pm3pm5pm
Sunday 30 April: 11.30am1.30pm3.30pm

 *Thanks to IntuMetrocentre for inviting me to the #intufashion preview event this week. Fabulous as always! x

Andrew McCarthy - My 1980s Dream

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned my unwavering affection for Andrew McCarthy. For anyone under the age of 35, Andrew (who I shall henceforth refer to as ‘A’) was quite simply the ‘80s actor everyone wanted to go to prom with. At least, he would’ve been if we’d had proms in those days, which we didn’t. But still. Michael J. Fox was too cutesy, Rob Lowe too…something I can’t put my finger on but which frankly made me a little nervy. A was…well, perfect.

If you’ve ever watched St Elmo’s Fire or Pretty in Pink, (and if you haven’t you need to. I mean it) then you’ll know A is the good guy. The dependable, calm, sweet-natured one with the nice face who you just know would never lie to you or let you down. Because even when he does something a little bit cray, it’s actually ok.

Let’s take Mannequin as a case in point (I know you’ve seen it). A, as the character Jonathan, works in a department store and has a penchant for getting off with the window display mannequins. Now, if this went on today it’d be plastered all over the Daily Mail and there’d be uproar on Facebook and the like. I’m sure that even in the ‘80s having relations with plastic dummies was frowned upon, yet, A, aka Jonathan, got away with it. In fact, he didn’t just get away with it – he had people like me wishing we were mannequins, on the off chance he came along, took a liking and whisked us off on the back of his motorbike-thingy (to the prom. This is where the prom fits in). 

And I’m obviously not the only one – read Jenny Colgan’s 2001 novel ‘Looking for Andrew McCarthy’. It was like that book was written for me.

I’d be hard pushed to think of an actor today who gives me the same feels. Often, usually on a Saturday evening whilst cradling a bottle of Prosecco, I’ll watch Mannequin with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes (particularly at the bit where Emmy, the object of Jonathan’s affections, gets rescued from the chipper at the very last second and Starship’s ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ starts playing), wondering where A is now. A quick google search confirms he is alive and well, directing (Orange is the New Black, no less) and writing and generally doing things that don’t involve mannequins, so that’s good.

Mannequin is 30 years old this year. This also brings tears to my eyes, for different reasons. But I’ll never forget A – he’ll always have a special place in my heart and every time I hear the opening bars of John Parr’s 1984 hit St Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion), I ache a little at the thought of the imaginary motorbike-thingy ride to the prom that never was.

Someone pass the Prosecco.

What's The Point Of Blogging?

Bit of a random one, but nevertheless this is a question I've asked myself a fair bit over the last five or so years since I've been writing stuff on the internet. Blogging has become a phenomenon; a way to influence, to sell, to share. It's become an aspiration, a goal, and even a career choice, for some.

When I started blogging, I knew no one was reading. Literally, no one. Except myself, obviously - and occasionally the husband, when forced. I wrote because I enjoyed it, it allowed me to be creative when my day job didn't, and I likened it to a diary; something I'd look back on with fondness in the future. I never thought about promoting my blog, or trying to gain followers. It was just a blog. My blog.

As time has gone on, I've developed my blog - no where near the level of a lot of other bloggers, but it has grown. I've made some great friends through attending events (and let me add here that I've never been a particularly sociable person, so that in itself was a big thing for me) and had some brilliant opportunities that I would never have expected. Yet I found the actual blogging part more and more difficult - the actual sitting down with my laptop and tapping out my thoughts, ideas and opinions. So what's changed?

Earlier today I went to an event called #Instasistas, organised by the very lovely Lea (@thecowbarn on instagram - go and check out her beautiful interior design skills. Errmm.. after you finish reading this). It was a very informal gathering of around 15 ladies, most of whom had never met before, with the aim of getting away from day to day life and relaxing over coffee and scones at a lovely local parlour called Wheelbirks. A few of the ladies asked about my blog and as I was talking, I mentioned I was thinking of changing the name, since telling people usually involves me repeating 'Is it Just Meme. No, IS It Just Meme. No, Meme. ME ME'...etc etc. 'Don't change it! It's great!' was the resounding response. I've been thinking about changing it for probably a year now, thinking I need to choose something more simple, more mainstream - more....plain, I suppose. After this morning, I realised that actually, I don't need to change it. I don't even really want to change it. My blog name is ME. (Ermmm....literally).

So that got me thinking about why I blog, and remembering the reasons I started. Not to write something I thought people would read, or get likes on social media, or grab the attention of PRs  - all of these things are lovely, of course they are, but they aren't necessarily a reason for me to blog. I started because I enjoyed writing, and wanted to do it, even if no one was reading.

So what have I learned? Write like nobody's reading. For me, that's it - that's how I blog. That's how I be as authentic as I can. That's how I enjoy blogging. And I'm looking forward to writing my blog again. There's a good chance there'll be swearing, and mildly inappropriate humour, but, as I said: authentic.


PS- You should know that I agonised over the title of this post. Those who know me well know that poor grammar is a serious pet peeve of mine, so I was unsure whether 'What's the point of blogging' was better than 'What's the point in blogging'. I thought about it for a while, then gave up and had tea and cake.

New Season Fashion Hacks

I think I've mentioned that since Christmas I've on a shopping ban  - well, less of a ban, more of a diet, let's be honest - I mean, I have still bought stuff, just....not as much as I usually would, particularly in sale season. And I'm not immune to the charms of new season wonderfulness, taunting me with it's flared sleeves, statement boots and slogan knits. I'm just trying to be good. And being good means trawling t'interweb for cheaper alternatives to the looks I lust after on instagram.

So...the aforementioned flared sleeves. I've seen loads of bloggers sporting this jumper which I love the look of, and at £35 it's not exactly breaking the bank, but unfortunately the high neck and cropped design are not my friend and seemed to make me look about 2 sizes bigger on top. Not for the busty, I'm afraid! Love the statement sleeve look, though, so I was super chuffed to find this bell sleeved v neck at George at Asda, for a particularly purse pleasing £14.

They also have this round neck bell sleeved jumper in nude and a brighter coral pink for a bargainous £12.

Or what about this cute monochrome number - love the tie sleeve detail.

Hush's lightening bolt sweat is another blogger fave...I do love it but just can't justify £50 for a casual top. I spotted a lightening bolt top in Next sale yesterday and thought for £7, it's worth a punt. (I can't post a direct link, but search lightening bolt top in clearance - lots of sizes there right now).

What do you think? xx

BareMinerals Gen Nude Collection - The Nudes You Never Knew you Needed

I've been on a bit of a beauty spending ban for the last couple of months, since I have boxes full of stuff I've bought on a whim after seeing a particularly persuasive advert/blogger/YouTuber tell me I NEED it, only to find out that not only did I not need it, but I didn't particularly want it either. This is because, as much as I love makeup and seeing the fabulous looks people create on instagram, I wear the same dozen or so products pretty much every day, since my go to look is a taupey-brown slightly smokey eye, glowy pink cheeks and a nude lip. If it ain't broke, right?

That said, I am forever having my head turned by nude lips. Well, nude lip products, anyway. If you're a nude-lip fan, you'll know how difficult it is to get the exact shade you have in mind when you picture your perfect nude lip. For me, a lot of nude shades are too brown-toned and make me look like I've been dug up. Or then there's the shimmery nudes, which, let's be honest look horrific on everyone. Or what about the flat, matte nudes that make even non-flaky lips look scaly and dry? I can't even recount the amount of cash I've wasted over the years on unsuitable nude lippies - in fact, I started just wearing lip balm instead. And then BareMinerals brought out the Gen Nude Collection and - yup, I had my head turned.

There are four products in the range: a lipstick, a matte liquid lipcolour, a gloss and a lip pencil. And there are 40 shades available across the products, ranging from super pale (I'll be steering clear of those) to darker nudes. I tried one of each product type and although the lipstick and lipgloss are nice (both have a pleasant vanilla scent, are smooth to apply and feel comfortable to wear), my favourite product by a clear mile is the Liquid Lipcolour. I have the shade Ju Ju, which is a darker nude that I probably wouldn't have chosen myself, but when I tried it I absolutely loved the fact that although it's nude, it's darker and more dramatic than my usual picks and the matte texture gives it a modern edge. I've not really been a fan of liquid lipsticks since I bought a Bourjois one once which had the most disgusting smell and stringy, sticky texture. This is nothing like that - it has the same nice vanilla scent as the other Gen Nude offerings and a smooth, velvety texture which dries but doesn't dry out the lips. I paired it with the Under Over Lipliner in Vibe which is pretty much a perfect match and neatened the edges up perfectly.

I've now got my eye on a couple of other shades of Matte Liquid Lipcolour - Swank is a deep berry-toned nude which I love the look of, and Bo$$ is described as Dirty Pink Beige, which frankly makes me want it just to I can tell people my lips are...well, Dirty Pink Beige. Despite the number of nude lip products I already own, I don't have any like these, so, obviously, I NEED them. (Heavy hint to Husband inserted here).

Any of the Gen Nude Collection catching your eye?

*thanks to BareMinerals for sending me these products to review.

Silidyn Supplement Review - UPDATE!

Let me start by saying that I'm not one for taking supplements. I have tried a few, years ago, but nothing I used seemed to have any impact and I became somewhat cynical about these types of products. Do we really need them? Is it all just a big con to get you to fork out a few quid on something which promises you'll look ten years younger after a week? So, yeah, a bit cynical.

It's been years since I've used any supplements, but back in November I was given the opportunity to try Silidyn, and I thought, heck, why not? I'm a little less cynical nowadays (I hope, anyway), so, Silidyn - what's the deal?