The Weekend Wonder – True Beauty (Amy Harmon)

brad pitt angelina jolie

True beauty, the kind that doesn’t fade or wash off, takes time. It takes incredible endurance. It is the slow drip that creates the stalactite, the shaking of the Earth that creates mountains, the constant pounding of the waves that breaks up the rocks and smooths the rough edges. And from the violence, the furor, the raging of the winds, the roaring of the waters, something better emerges, something that would have otherwise never existed. And so we endure. We have faith that there is purpose. We hope for things we can’t see. We believe there are lessons in loss, power in love, and that we have within us the potential for a beauty so magnificent, our bodies can’t contain it.”
- Amy Harmon

What I Wore – Throwback with New Look

throwback new look
With the idea that every girl has a ‘Throwback’ dress in their wardrobe that they can’t get rid of (from the ones you wear in and out, to the ones you just love to look at!), New Look recently challenged me to swap my own personal Throwback for a New Look dress that could fit the bill for years to come.

The thing is, I am a Hardcore Dress Girl. Every dress that lives in my closet has been carefully selected to make me feel confident, beautiful, and…like myself. From sparkles, to florals, to the ones you can’t eat bread in, I never get rid of dresses.

This means – in The Case of The Throwback – my challenge was not to swap a favourite out for a new favourite, but to to find a dress that I’d want to hold on to forever…

(…as I’m convinced I should have spent the last 24 years in the 1960s, nothing seemed like a better choice than this classic, pretty swing.)

What I Wore:
This snazzy little swing dress from New Look

throwback new look
throwback new look

IOW Festival Shopping List

festival shopping list
Festival packing is an art form. One I have yet to master. With the Isle of Wight Festival approaching, however, I have had no choice in the matter.

I refuse to be the woman begging drunken strangers for loo roll.

With that in mind, I have created an absolutely essential (in my eyes) festival shopping list for those of you who could use a little inspiration.

The List:
- Vierzon wellington boots from Le Chameau – I’m not the type to go ga-ga over a pair of wellies, but these are simply beautiful in real life. These guys deserve some love.

- Rosie Welly Wellies from Sanita at Zalando – Because when the shoe budget is tight (on account of buying all the shoes in general), Zalando always has the most amazing options for every type of shoe. My wallet may be frustrated, but I am one happy customer.

- Limited Edition Femfresh wipes – We have to go there. I have heard horror stories of toilet roll shortages one too many times to write these babies off. Unlike baby wipes, they are also pH-balanced, hypoallergenic, gynaecologically and dermatologically tested. As far as ‘dry showers’ are concerned, you couldn’t have it much nicer.

- P20 – Whether it rains or shines (PLEASE, GOD, SHINE), I am a freak about sun protection. P20 is the perfect lazy girl option, as one application lasts for up to 10 hours. If there’s any way to convince you, I hope the image of being hungover and burnt to a crisp is reason enough. (It also doubles as a rather lovely make-up primer, should you be concerned about any make-up sticking around throughout the day).

- Cuticura – Fstivals are dirty and I love to be clean. Though I’m not sure it will beat a 5-day communal shower aroma, Cuticura’s Passion Flower and Mango Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel smells divine and kills 99.99% of bacteria upon application. A must.

- Minnie Mouse Metallic Sequin Silver Ears & Bow Aliceband, Exclusive For ASOS – There are few occasions that find glitter ear-wearing socially acceptable, and festivals rule the roost. With the added bonus of becoming tracking device if all five-foot-one of me gets lost in a crowd, I could not pass up the opportunity to permanently attach this alice band to my head for the duration of the festival.

- chill* hair dye – The ultimate in ‘festival hair’ – bold and varied ammonia-free shades that last for up to 20 shampoos. While I’ve just re-gingered myself, I plan on taking a few jazzy hues to throw on the delirious heads of any festival friends that come my way.

- The Weekender from Aromatherapy Associates – While my typical purpose for Aromatherapy Associates purchases is all about relaxation, cleanliness and that ‘home spa’ feeling, their limited edition Weekender kit is the perfect choice for festival goers. Alongside perfect travel sizes of their Revive Body Gel and Renewing Rose Body Wash (because no-one wants to lug full sizes to the showers), I plan on using the Renewing Rose Body Cream and De-Stress Muscle Gel for a daily in-tent pamper.

- Spoil-free sustenance – Quest Bars, Vita Coco, bounce balls, cured meats, avocados, nuts, dried fruit, canned pumpkin, flax seeds and my new favourite ‘green’ supplements (more on those in a future blog!). For fear of a greasy bacon sandwich being the only breakfast option below £10, I’m going prepared.

- Vodka Haribo – Hear me out. Once upon a week ago, a dear friend let me into a festival secret that I have never heard before. I have to share Vodka Haribo with you all. The idea is genius in its simplicity.

Essentially, you soak a pack of Haribo Golden Bears in the vodka of your choice (I’ve gone for Grey Goose) for a few days before the festival, watch the little guys triple in size, pack them in some tupperware, then take them for your evening snack time. You’re welcome.

In Review: Hay! Latin America, Trinity Kitchen

hay latin america
Not saying I was obsessed with The Cheese Truck or anything, but this month’s retailers of Trinity Kitchen had a whole lot to live up to.

Thank goodness my first dip in June’s street food pool took place at Hay Latin America.

Hay (pronounced AYE! – with as much Mexican emphasis as you can muster) is the brainchild of Fred Parkes – a man who decided the lovely town of Huddersfield needed a little South American flavour after falling in love with the cuisine during his personal travels.

With fellow foodies in tow, we rocked up to the van (named Valdes) last week to sample some of Fred’s favourite dishes. Kicking things off with a glass of Torrontés (the most drinkable white Argentinian vino in the land), we were quickly welcomed with a few small plates of ‘pollo a la brasa’ and sweet potato empanadas while Fred talked us through Hay’s history. The empanadas – heavily packed with spiced shredded chicken and herbs – were as good as any I’ve had in the Midwest.

(It doesn’t sound like it makes sense, I’m aware, but the Midwest is where all my South American friends live.)

According to Fred, even those of the Yorkshire-based South American community have been known to rave over his international version.

Next up? The best quinoa salad I’ve had in quite some time. Though I tend to opt for quinoa over rice, I do it strictly for the superfood benefits. Quinoa is not exciting. That is, unless you’re eating it in a bowl from Hay Latin America.

Topping his organic quinoa with Peruvian-style marinated chicken, mint, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and guasacaca (which can be swapped out completely for chicken if you’re a vegetarian), this ‘main’ was a flavourful, healthful delight.

Finally, the alfajores. Though they have a range of desserts (including sweet empanadas), I had heard buzz of Hay’s moreish alfajores for days in advance so decided to focus my sweet efforts completely on the light ‘shortbreads’.

Doing a big one for The North by mixing a custard and Yorkshire rhubarb alfajore up, I expected it to be my favourite until I took a bite of the salted ‘dulce de leche’-filled chocolate shortbread. Both versions melted in the mouth (and could easily be credited as a reward after such a healthy lunch).

10 out of 10, Hay.

hay latin america trinity kitchen
hay latin america trinity kitchen
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Time

citizen watch review
I have a few OCD tendencies. Ones that tend to reveal themselves to me through the eyes of people I get close to.

One of the ‘few’ recently brought to my attention is a slightly unreasonable addiction to time tracking. Personal time tracking, professional time tracking…even tracking the by-the-minute progress from one destination to another (and thus becoming genuinely unsettled when something interferes and makes myself or anyone else late).

Taking solace in the lie/thought that this is rather normal, the last month (the busiest month of my life to date) has earned itself a treat: this incredibly beautiful timepiece from Citizen Drive‘s TTG Family (part of Citizen Eco Drive). Because if you’re going to track time, you’re going to have to do it as stylishly as you possible can.

More beautiful than its model name would suggest, the FE1112-06E is a delicate grouping of gold, Swarovski crystals, stainless steel, and black satin.

It’s making the crazy just that little bit easier to handle.

citizen watch 1