Goodbye, 2011...

Posted by Judy Johnson On Saturday, 31 December 2011 22:00 0 comments
Yes, it’s the obligatory look-back-at-the-year post that everyone does but it’s been quite a year so it deserves it, don't you think? There haven’t been as many changes as I’d hoped for but I’ve ticked off a few things from the to-do list, more so than I have in any other year. There have been a decent number of ups, a few too many downs but it was a huge improvement on 2010… so, 2012, can you do better than this? 

In 2011, I:

Learned Spanish
Ok, so I haven’t learned ALL the Spanish there is to learn, but I made a start, which is fairly impressive for me – I’m generally all talk when it comes to aspirations. I did level one and two with Cactus language and am hoping I can stretch some pennies to cover level three in the new year so I can get further than just ‘I’m from England’ and ‘walk straight on’. Seriously.

Revisited Ibiza
...and had the best holiday of my life. I may say this every time I go to another country (I love to travel, in case you’d missed that) but seriously, this really was the best.  I discovered Flower Power at Pacha, I partied every single night, I forgot all about home troubles and really, well and truly had fun. I also met some great people and one who I still think about a little too often, but that's another story...

Got my second nephew! 
Brandon is quite possibly the cutest baby ever (don’t tell the other nephew) and is also the easiest to look after – having spent the last week with him I have been dubbed by my family as ‘good with kids’ a ‘natural mum’ and if Brandon could speak I am sure he would say I am pretty goddamn funny, because he smiles a LOT.

Had my first ever feature published in print 
I freelance whenever I can and this year I was lucky enough to write for Expert Beauty, for their special issue during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Writing all about boobs and what the risks are when it comes to this horrid disease, not only did I learn a lot, but I learned more about the ways of freelancing and felt more like a journalist than ever. More to come next year!

Went to my first UK festival
Yes, I donned my boots (I never have owned wellies) and went down to Brighton for the Shakedown festival and partied in the rain like a true music-loving Brit. Ed Sheeran and Example were brilliant, the toilet queues were not so brilliant, but all in all I loved it and can't wait to do some more festivals next year, funding-dependent.

Sadly, it wasn't all good in 2011 - there was plenty of bad stuff going on too. From supporting my parents as they put their all into setting up a business, having it pretty much sabotaged by an evil woman who shall have to remain nameless and then comforting them when it went horribly wrong and left them both ill, to then saying goodbye to my hometown, officially, after they had to move due to business/job changes/landlord changes, I stressed myself out way too much with their problems as well as mine. Plus I discovered that being single is often tough; being single when none of your friends are is tougher. Booo. 

But, all is not lost - 2011 was better than 2010 by miles, and though I am about to turn 26 (holy crapola) I am planning a pretty fantastic and travel-tastic 2012 already. Wish me luck!

Christmas Gift-Giving 2011

Posted by Judy Johnson On 15:37 0 comments
Everyone always asks what you got for Christmas, but we don’t really do presents for myself and my sisters now, and rightfully so (though I did get a perfume, thanks mum and dad, you rock). We treat my over-excited nephews instead, and as I am the single one with no mouths to feed other than my own Malteser-loving one I tend to buy for parents too, with something small for the sisters. So instead of telling you what I got for Christmas, which to be honest I hate hearing from people (er, boasting much?!), I thought I’d share what I gave - you never know, it might help you when shopping next year...

For mum: 

My mum is beauty-obsessed, and clearly where I got my passion for makeup from. I always treat her to something beauty related as well as giving her freebies throughout the year (very lucky I can do that thanks to my job, occasionally) so this year I gave a mixture. First up was Divaderme brush-on lashes (on a Wahanda deal, of course), and she absolutely loves them. I have to say I am impressed she puts them on so well, as I had Twitter feedback that it was fiddly, but she seems to have got the hang of it very quickly and won't stop talking about them. Tick! 

Next up was Benefit’s Foam Cleanser, which she loves after trying out their new range when I got her a sample set in the summer. For a woman who won’t step away from her Clinique, Estee Lauder and Clarins creams, this is an achievement for  me – I've got her hooked on affordable yet lovely skincare! I also got her the latest Nicholas Sparks book, a makeup bag for all those cosmetics and a perfume called Tous that came from a beauty journalist friend and that smelt fresh and dewy. Double tick!

For dad: 

My dad hates sport, doesn’t do much gardening and rejects most new helpful gadgets so can be tricky to buy for, so this year I went for tried and trusted presents. A cord shirt from Marks and Sparks’ Blue Harbour range, a book on motorbikes, and an Amazon voucher all went down very well to start with, and then I gave a meditation CD from Meditainment (thanks Twitter for the recommendation) because I want him and my mum to learn how to relax in 2012... it's about time they put their feet up and stopped worrying so I'm showing them how it's done!

For the 2 year old nephew:

A jacket with detachable sleeves from Matalan, aka the queen of affordable baby clothes - I love that place and always find something good for the kids in there. I also found bathtub crayons on the almighty Amazon so he can draw in the bath ( I want some too!) and a Fireman Sam backpack. Smiles all round.

For the 3 month old nephew: 

A very very very cute outfit, also from Matalan, and some nursery cube thingies that were Winnie the Pooh branded from M&S – overpriced but supersoft and will look lovely in his new nursery, even if he has no idea what to do with them...

For the grandparents:

My dear grandparents needed cheering up so I used Interflora to send them a hamper this year - I'd never done it before as I worried they were too fussy to like much in any of them but they were so happy with it (I heard how amazing the basket was about ten times, anyway) that I think I'll be doing that every year from now on. Easy!

I couldn't leave out my two older sisters and their partners, so they got an Amazon voucher (seriously, isn’t Amazon just amazing?) and chocolate coins. Can’t go wrong!

The best bit about this Christmas was having all the family around - cheesy, but true - but I do love knowing that I've got someone a gift that they really love. What did you give this year that you’re a bit proud of? Go on, give me ideas for next year…

A Visit from The Fairy Hobmother

Posted by Judy Johnson On Monday, 5 December 2011 22:31 0 comments
Don't worry, I haven't gone absolutely loopy at last - I still don't believe in fairytales (though The Notebook most definitely could happen, right?) but believe it or not, there are people out there who know what they're doing when it comes to blogger outreach. 

Appliances Online have come up with a pretty smart way of both rewarding bloggers and of course getting a little SEO-friendly link back too - and given my job and my wishes for this blog to grow, I can hardly complain about that. After being contacted herself, a friend forwarded on the info from the Fairy Hobmother who is waving her magic wand over blogs all over the interwebs and granting wishes so I was more than happy to get involved.

Personally, I think this is a great idea that so many companies are trying to do, yet perfectly executed in a cute and rewarding style. In exchange for a link I was given some Amazon vouchers which are going straight into my dwindling budget for Christmas presents - not bad eh?

To spread the festive cheer a little further, any commenters on this post could get a visit from the Fairy Hobmother - so tell me, what do you want this Christmas?


Sophie Kinsella - She's Back

Posted by Judy Johnson On Tuesday, 29 November 2011 22:43 0 comments
Image from Amazon
I just had to post this today, as a long-awaited email from Amazon popped into my inbox this morning. Sophie Kinsella, writer of the Shopaholic series as well as the brilliant Undomestic Goddess, Twenties Girl, Remember Me? and others, is back. FINALLY.

It feels like an age since I read Mini Shopaholic and even longer since Twenties Girl - which was pretty different given the ghostly essence of the story but fantastic and laugh-out-loud funny nonetheless. Now Kinsella is back with a new novel which is available to pre-order - it's called I've Got Your Number and sounds hilarious as always.

Chick-lit gets pretty slated at times but as a writer who wants to write that stuff (I want to make people laugh and swoon simultaneously, in life and in writing. What's wrong with that?!) I absolutely love it. There aren't many who do it well (no pressure then, future me) but when I find a decent author who knows their giggles such as Freya North or Anna Maxted, I stick to them and wait eagerly for their next release. I'm always looking for new ones too, so do let me know in the comments if there are any you swear by.

So without further ado, here's the blurb stolen from Amazon and the link for pre-ordering it. Enjoy!

I've lost it. The only thing in the world I wasn't supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It's been in Magnus's family for three generations. And now, the very same day his parents are coming, I've lost it. The very same day. Do not hyperventilate Poppy. Stay positive!!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry the ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her 'happy ever after' begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring but in the panic that followed, she has now lost her phone. As she paces shakily round the hotel foyer she spots an abandoned phone in a bin. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except the phone's owner, businessman Sam Roxton doesn't agree. He wants his phone back and doesn't appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life. 
What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other's lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents... she soon realises that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

Buy it on Amazon here. Happy reading...
Back in the early days of my blogging life, I posted about Burts Bees lipgloss which I loved despite hating lipgloss; well, next on my Hate List is foundation. I can't stand the stuff. I think natural skin looks prettier than thick and cloggy makeup - and I'd rather use concealer all over than smear on foundation. Until now.

Bourjois is one of my favourite brands - I already swear by their eyeliners, Healthy Mix concealer and chocolate-like bronzer. And now they've done what no other brand has managed to do in all my years of playing with makeup; they've convinced me to wear foundation.

The Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation, apart from being a bit of a mouthful, is quite simply brilliant. While I'm not sure about its claim to last 16 hours (so far I've only been wearing it on nights out), it is right when it claims to be radiance-boosting with an instant anti-fatigue effect - my skin looked fresh and even-toned, with a slight glow too. Containing goji berries, pomegranate and lychee, it also smells delicious (but not overpowering, as no one wants a fruity face).

Because it is gel-based, it glides on and blends better than any tinted moisturiser, concealer or foundation I have ever tried. It's so soft on the skin that you'll find it hard not to keep sweeping your fingers across your pretty much flawless face - and best of all, it doesn't feel like makeup to the touch. Personally, I found it gave really good coverage but the packaging states it is only a 1 on a scale of 1 to 3.

My pet peeve with all foundations I've tried previously, powder included, has been that you could tell I was wearing it - there was no way the texture could ever be passed as my own skin. Bourjois have changed all that - it feels like my bare skin, looks like my skin (but better, obviously) and doesn't make me look like one of those beauty counter girls who layer up every product they sell on their face. I'm a convert. 

Disclosure: I received this foundation free of charge, though it wasn't from a PR - I'm not certain but I think I won it in a Latest in Beauty giveaway!

AEOS Skincare

Posted by Judy Johnson On Monday, 28 November 2011 22:34 1 comments
When I was little, my favourite shop to go into with my mum was a place in Lindfield called Witchcraft; a beautifully quaint little gift shop which was full of soaps in the shapes of roses, dolphins and stars, bath pearls that melted into water to make it soft and scented, and all kinds of gorgeous smelling bath products that I couldn't get enough of and happily sniff all day.

AEOS, or Active Energised Organic Skincare, instantly reminded me of Witchcraft because of the lovely scents in their products. We all know I have a super sensitive skin type, which usually means I steer clear from fragrances, but if I'm careful I tend to be OK with organic products - something I definitely need to research more. A few patch tests later and I've discovered AEOS is on my 'safe' list - and thank goodness for that.

It's refreshing to find a range that really is all about the ingredients; AEOS use the 'living energy' of the natural ingredients to create skincare products loaded with effective plant extracts and essential oils. The brand has its own bio-dynamic Shire Farm where most of the ingredients are grown and the rest are from organic farms around the world. Their philosophy is to look after the activity and balance of the soil, which leads to the strength and the vitality of the plant, which provides optimal effects on the skin. Yes, it's all a bit scientific, but good to know how it works from the moment it's in the soil to the moment you're putting it on your face.

Apart from the scent, the first thing that struck me when I took a look at the products was the colour; not toxic and bright like so many others but subtle yet distinct. Apparently, this is down to 'spagyric tinctures', or liquid gems and crystals that are said to energise the ingredients. 

AEOS have a three-phase system: Renewal, Rebalance and Replenish. With oils, lotions and exfoliators to renew the skin, conditioners and hydrating mist to rebalance and serums to lock in moisture, they've worked out exactly what your skin needs and how to get it from natural sources. Even better, the products are light and dewy on the skin, and smell like they belong in a five star spa (or Witchcraft if you know Lindfield well). I've added them to my beauty Christmas list...

Disclosure: I received the AEOS products from a PR friend to try out for the blog. 

Creative Inspiration - Films, Books and Music

Posted by Judy Johnson On Saturday, 5 November 2011 16:22 0 comments
If I'm not being creative myself, it's often because I'm too busy enjoying someone else's creativity. I love that great feeling after reading an all-encompassing book where you can't wait to recommend it, or after watching a gripping film when you feel like you're still there in the story (unless it's Saw, in which case I get as far away from it as possible with an episode of Friends). The hope that one day I'll write something that makes people feel like that is pretty much why I'm here, so I thought I'd post about some recent inspiration...

Great authors
It does seem like everyone wants to write a book, but maybe it's just that I'm surrounded by writers? As well as my love for Sophie Kinsella's light-hearted shopaholics and co, I've recently found I love a good thriller when it comes to reading. Enter, Linwood Barclay - his stories read like an unfolding ITV drama (I mean this in a good way) and keep me turning the page no matter what time it is or how long until my alarm clock is due to annoy me. Never Look Away had me guessing right until the end, but my favourite so far has been No Time for Goodbye - original, tricky and refreshingly 'real' under all the crime and darkness of the plot.

Great musicians
It's no secret that I am addicted to Spotify, Ibiza and maybe a bit of The X Factor, but sometimes in this reality-show driven era of music it's easy to forget that there are real musicians out there who could be the next big icon. When I was younger my idols were Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Kylie because I thought they'd be around forever - now I think the same of Beyonce, the late Michael Jackson and well, Kylie (there's just no stopping her!). 

Last week I saw Bruno Mars at the Brixton Academy and I couldn't believe what a born entertainer he was - he has so much charisma, a smile that could melt anyone into pure lust, and a voice and super cool dance moves that make me think he was born into the wrong decade. His support act was Skylar Grey, who co-wrote Love the Way You Lie and sings it pretty damn well too - she has a haunting voice that reminds me of Evanescence and is definitely one to watch.

Great films
Thanks to the brilliant LoveFilm I have a regular dose of film landing on my doorstep so that if I miss a trip to the ever-expensive cinema I can add it to my wishlist. With Oscar season upon us there are so many great movies to see out there at the moment that I don't know where to start - though obviously, anything with Ryan Gosling in gets prioritised for me; I can't wait to see Ides of March and have also got my eye on Justin Timberlake's new release, In Time.

I recently saw Drive and left with both the shakes and a thumping heart - I don't know why it got to me so much but the way it was directed had me quite literally holding my breath, and Gosling played his multi-dimensional character perfectly.  I also saw the other Ryan of note, Ryan Reynolds in Buried (courtesy of LoveFilm) and I think it must be the most tense film I have ever watched. Filmed purely in a coffin in which he has been buried alive, it really was thought-provoking and one of the most memorable movies for me in recent cinema. 

What inspires you to be creative, or what books/films/music have you discovered lately? I'm currently reading We Need to Talk About Kevin, definitely not my usual chick-lit with a happy ending...

A Change Would Do You Good?

Posted by Judy Johnson On Monday, 31 October 2011 23:20 0 comments
I've been a bit quiet on the blogging front recently; life tends to get in the way a bit, as does a good old dose of the blues and a snowstorm of change going on around me that doesn't allow time to think, let alone write the slippery thoughts down. I've always had a bit of a grudge against change, but for once I am coming around to the idea... even if it does mean my world keeps turning upside down a little. Melodramatic, me?

With my parents about to leave my beloved hometown for good, a best friend living on another continent and a crazy work life, the last couple of months haven't been the easiest - particularly when I am also the only single one of my friends, with no other half to lend me a shoulder when things get a little bumpy. Everyone is moving on in some way and I appear to be the only one staying still - not a great feeling, particularly when I am one of those thinky types. Funny how writers usually are, eh?

But, the parentals are doing the right thing after a long long stretch of bad luck, the beauty of Skype means no one is ever unreachable and I have achieved one of my New Year's resolutions to write something I'm proud of - my first ever print feature, for Expert Beauty no less, and about breast awareness in light of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I'm just hoping it's the first of many and that's not it for my career in journalism! So I haven't been neglecting the blog for no good reason (though I still feel a tad guilty)  - and I have a few more reasons to post about too, so if you haven't given up on me just yet, stay tuned.

So hello change - maybe I can deal with you after all...


Review: Shakedown Festival

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 2 October 2011 16:01 0 comments
So I am no longer a festival virgin. Technically, I have already been to the Garden Festival in Croatia but a) we had a lovely little apartment so no tents in sight and b) it's not the UK so it doesn't count, right? Nope, I count Shakedown as my first official festival and I have to say I loved it...

Unfortunately, as is usually the case with UK festivals, the weather let us down - hard to believe in today's October heatwave, isn't it? Just two weeks ago as I donned my VIP wristband and went through the gates in Stanmer Park, the sky opened and it pretty much rained all day. OK, slight exaggeration - there were some really sunny bits just to confuse us all as we stood there in scarves, coats and wellies (or little ankle boots in my case: festival virgin = unprepared) but every so often we'd be rained on again, and as soon as it began to get dark we were shivering over our cider and wine. Oh the glamour!

Then there was the toilet issue, which Shakedown apologised profusely for on their Facebook page - there just weren't enough. It meant that the whole day was pretty much organised around when nature might call, as you had to allow about 45 minutes (VIP) or well over an hour (main part) to queue - not great when the alcohol is flowing and you'd rather be dancing instead of jigging on the spot. I even had some woman lie to me at the front of the queue, saying she was three months' pregnant and couldn't wait in line (vodka and coke in hand, smirking boyfriend in tow). 

But, on to the good bits. The brilliant bits. The music. I was so excited to see Ed Sheeran - his acoustic performance of The A Team has been boring my poor neighbours to death for the past month since I found him on Spotify and I couldn't wait to see him in person. He didn't disappoint - he was a bit chatty in between songs, which some rather vocal guys ahead of me didn't like, but I loved how 'normal' he seemed and yet how extraordinary his voice and style is. And as soon as he did You Need Me, I Don't Need You, the whole crowd was buzzing and attempting, badly, to sing along. Massive thumbs up.

Without a doubt, Example were the kings of the event and really set the crowd off - they weren't on until later in the evening (straight after Ed Sheeran) so there was a lot of standing around and eating hot dogs while the lesser-known acts played but it was a great atmosphere and well worth the wait. If I liked them before, I loved them after Shakedown (the neighbours now have a new song to be bored of) and would happily pay to see them live again. 

Though on a high after warbling along to Changed the Way You Kiss Me, we were damp, cold and aching, so decided to miss Razorlight and the after parties and head home; my Ibiza-loving self was appalled at this but when there's no sun, a fairly long trek home and you're sick of the sight of queues, it turns out a hot cup of tea is more appealing than wine. Will I go next year? Depending on the lineup, hell yes - Shakedown promise to sort out the bad organisation for the next one and given that it's so close to my hometown, it'd be rude not to.

So my first (UK) festival experience - wet, exciting, exhausting. Sounds like I'm a natural, no?

P.S MASSIVE thanks to Lisa Ven and co for telling me about the event!


Best of the Nineties

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 4 September 2011 23:44 0 comments
With Friends officially off our screens (until they do a film, no doubt) and someone in my Twitter timeline reminding me of the, er, star that is Samantha Mumba this evening, I got thinking about the nineties (as I often do, actually). The nineties were bloody brilliant. We all got mobile phones, Gameboys, Walkmans, and spent our Saturday mornings watching Live & Kicking and Kenan & Kel. It was amazing. 

Even better though was the music; from the best boybands ever (East 17, 5ive and Backstreet Boys for those of you looking blank) to the arrival of the Spice Girls, every time I hear music from that wonderful decade I can't help but smile. It probably helps that I was growing up at the time so unlike my parents who were still hoping Cliff Richard would make it back in the charts, I was busy learning the words to the Saved by the Bell theme tune and dancing to Gina G in my friend's bedroom (true story).

As well as adding some of the greatest hits to mine and Emma's Spotify Musical Prozac list, I thought I'd mention a few of the nineties tunes that you may have forgotten. Seeing as Take That, Hanson and even New Kids on the Block have made a comeback in recent years, I personally hope some of the following crop up on The X Factor sometime and give their 'I was famous once' sob story...

The Honeyz
A poor man's Eternal, they could have been like Destiny's Child, but... they weren't. But they did have attitude and that's why Won't Take It Lying Down is awesome, even if the video does look like a car advert. 

Big Brovaz
Don't worry, they're not all going to end with a super cool 'z'. I saw these live and they could sing and everything. Honestly.  Shame about the songs, but I still loved Baby Boy (and its Friends inspired video) and I definitely have their album somewhere...

Samantha Mumba
Huge kudos to the guy who reminded me of this one... I mean how could we forget all those hits? OK, there were only about three. Maybe two. But Always Come Back to Your Love is a catchy little number. And just look at those complex dance moves! Add to Spotify, tick.

Well, you can't get ready for a Saturday Night without them, can you?

Mark Morrison
The remake of Return of the Mack makes me mourn the nineties more than anything. Is NOTHING sacred anymore? This version was underage-disco-tastic.

Obviously, these are not the actual best artists from the nineties but the point is, we don't want to forget anyone. From the bloody awful Cotton Eye Joe to the bloody brilliant denim-clad B*Witched (who have also attempted a comeback with weird Fifth Element hair), there is just too much to mention. If only TOTP could be put on repeat somewhere. E4, now that you've got space...?

What are your favourite nineties memories?

Goodbye, Friends

Posted by Judy Johnson On 22:33 1 comments
It's the end of an era today, with Friends being shown for the last time on E4 - no more reruns of Ross's tan ("I'm an EIGHT!"), Phoebe's Smelly Cat or Monica's hoovering of hoovers. It is a sad day. 

Even if you own the boxset, it's not quite the same as the reassurance of knowing that if there is nothing good on TV then there's a good chance you can catch an episode of our favourite guys and girls thanks to E4 and its +1 buddy. Better dust off the DVD player then...

Along with the rest of my team (thankfully also Friends fans), I quote Friends daily. It has something that can be applied to any situation, whether it's a tan gone wrong (see above), trying to speak French (Joey), or metaphors (Rachel, 'You're a shoe you're a shoe you're a shoe!'). 

So, in honour of my favourite ever TV series and its last day on our screens, I thought I'd post a few of the best scenes... I think Ross is coming out as the most memorable. What's your favourite clip?

Goodbye Friends, we'll miss you.


Shakedown Festival

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 7 August 2011 22:14 0 comments
I miss Ibiza. I mean, really miss it. My poor friends and colleagues and Twitter followers and Facebook friends and generally anyone who listens will know this already, since anytime I hear a song that may or may not have been played during my week out there, I mention that I miss it. Again. 

So, though I am hoping to pop back for a weekend before the season's up, I am doing anything I can to bring a bit of Ibiza over here to London. I listen to music whenever I can, daydream a little and am keeping the social calendar full of nights out to combat the Ibiza withdrawal symptoms. Then, I heard about Shakedown.

Shakedown festival is near my hometown in Brighton, and the line up looks ah-mazing. Example, 2 Many DJs, Kissy Sell Out, Razorlight, Zane Lowe... the list goes on and on! Obviously, I shall be there with bells on (and probably glitter, neon paint and a headband, naturally) so I thought I'd share the Ibiza-inspired love. Tickets are only £35 at the moment so if you're already bopping along to the DJs in your head, get booking! I'll definitely post a review after the event too. Happy partying...

When: Saturday 17th September 2011, 
Opening times: 2pm-Midnight
Where: Stanmer Park


The Beauty of BB Cream

Posted by Judy Johnson On Saturday, 30 July 2011 22:09 0 comments
Image from Superdrug
A month or two ago, my friend returned from a trip to South Korea gushing about their beauty habits. Apparently, their nail varnishes last longer and chip less than ours; they understand the importance of skincare and realise that tanning is skin damage; and they use something called Blemish Balm, or BB Cream as it's known, to look flawless while looking after their skin. Well, lucky them.

Straight away, I took to Twitter and asked the beauty bloggerati if they knew of it or whether you could get it here - and judging by the reponses, it was very new on the scene in the UK but word was slowly getting around. I discovered you could get it on eBay but thought I would wait for a few more reviews before buying it. 

So what is it? Well, given that it's important enough to have a Wikipedia page, it's pretty special. As said in the text there and as explained to me by my friend, it was developed by a doctor in Germany and started out as something dermatologists used to help their patients heal and protect their skin as well as cover scars, acne and blemishes after laser therapy. It's sometimes tinted so basically acts as a foundation, primer and skin treatment in one. It also can have a whitening effect which is, I'm told, quite big in Asia. So we Brits want to look brown and they want our pasty complexions - are we ever happy?! 

Anyway, news got out about this fabulous stuff and it's become far more mainstream - and now, it's here. Everyone I follow on Twitter appears to be trying it, ordering it or just plain raving about it - and I ordered mine from Superdrug last night. I don't wear foundation but I have been hunting for a decent primer, and absolutely swear by wearing an SPF daily (currently using my Avene moisturiser).  I can't wait to try it out - though I have to say, SPF 15 is not exactly protection. Hopefully they'll up the SPF when more of them come out...

For before and after pics, check out this blog - thanks @Tsunimee for sharing! Have you used it yet? Does it live up to expectation?


They're Real!

Posted by Judy Johnson On 21:30 0 comments
I love the look of false lashes. Dramatic, fluttery, movie-star-esque... but I cannot stand the faff. I am not a faffy girl. I don't do heels, I don't do lipstick, and as much as I love fashion it has to feel good for me to wear it. That's why my love affair with false lashes began and ended at a  New Year's Eve party - I felt like I had an irritating feather placed over my eyes and couldn't wait to get them off, yet had to keep re-glueing them to save from 'what's that furry thing on your cheek?' embarrassment throughout the night. Now, I stick to mascara and what dear old (stingy) Mother Nature gave me. 

A girl's search for the perfect mascara is a lengthy one. We want them long but thick, separated but plenty of them - our lashes, that is. At the moment I swear by Max Factor's Lash Extension mascara mixed with the Masterpiece Max, but move over Max Factor: there's a new mascara must-have in town. 

Benefit, one of my favourite beauty brands, are about to unleash the They're Real! mascara and from the look of some tried and tested posts on beauty blogs such as Lipglossiping and these videos, it's going to be big. It claims to give you lashes that look so good people will think they're fake. The recipe itself curls so you can ditch your scary looking eyelash curler, and it has long and short bristles on the brush so even the tiniest of lashes are reached. It also has bristles on the end of the brush to give extra lift. 

Convinced? These babies go on sale from 13th August but they are having a flash sale on Saturday 6th August if you just can't wait - see the flyer below. Happy fluttering, and let me know what you think! 


The Height of the Matter Is...

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 17 July 2011 17:06 2 comments
As a 5'10 singleton in London, I've got my work cut out for me when it comes to meeting a man. Well, not men in general obviously, just ones I'd like to date. London is notoriously a difficult place to find love anyway because we're all far too busy running around working stupid hours, commuting on sweaty trains (so sexy, we Londoners) and then moaning about both over much-needed but massively overpriced cocktails (while checking our BlackBerries).

Add on top of that that I can see over the top of most men's heads, and it's near impossible to find someone to date in this silly city of suits. Or even just to find a guy to talk to without being able to check out their bald patches as they speak to my chest. 

On the rare occasion that a man attempts to chat me up, the first deal breaker (or of course maker) is height. If he's not taller than me - even by a couple of millimetres, I'm not asking for a giant here - then it's an instant no (in my head - out loud I am far more polite, honest). 

A few friends have given me a disapproving lecture for my slightly heightist ways, but given that they are all 5'6 or under and petite size eights (aka pint sized), they really have no idea. And given that they have all said they 'think it's great to be tall, but wouldn't want to be tall', they probably shouldn't be judging.

I'm not saying short men aren't datable - after all, to a shorter girl, a short man is tall, right? They're just not for me. I don't want to feel 'big', in any sense of the word - around the man I fancy I want to feel cute and feminine and like I can depend on him to give me a decent hug, not to be an armrest. I think that's fair...

What are your dating deal breakers and makers, or aren't you fussy? (I mean that in a nice way).

Ibiza Rocks

Posted by Judy Johnson On Saturday, 16 July 2011 17:20 4 comments
It's been two weeks since I got back from Ibiza, and I still can't get it out of my head. I have a revived obsession for music, I keep bopping away to myself in public places such as on escalators and train stations, and I have a fairly permanent smile on my face despite hating people that do that.

As mentioned previously, I've realised how much I needed this holiday - though this year has been pretty good so far, I'd forgotten what it was like to actually relax and not be near a phone, Internet connection or piece of technology in general. I'm surprised my hands aren't permanently fixed in typing position and that I can still hold a pen. 

It usually takes me a couple of days to get into the holiday spirit, but thanks to very sensibly turning off all data on my phone so that the phone bill when I got home didn't give me a heart attack, I switched off - in all senses - as soon as we landed. And then it was time for seven days of laughing, dancing, chatting, sunbathing and face painting...

I'd been to Ibiza three years ago for the first time and as much as I loved the island, I couldn't quite dive into it as much as I wanted thanks to the break up from hell and feeling spaced out from graduation. This time, I was single, happier, and ready to make the most of the gorgeous island (and maybe even practice a little Spanish). Here's how we did it, with a few tips along the way...

Sunday - Space
After just two hours sleep, we got our flight at 5am from Gatwick and touched down just in time for breakfast. We found our Sunshine Apartments in San Antonio Bay (which I would highly recommend - it's under new management who are very professional), threw our bikinis on and headed out for breakfast by the beach. On the beach you will get approached by club reps, trying to sell you tickets for that night. After a few too many interrupting our sunbathing, some girls eventually convinced us that there is nowhere else to be on a Sunday than at Space for their We Love Space night. We did a package which got us 2 hours of all inclusive drinking at Active bar, followed by a bus to Space and entry to the club. We didn't last much past 3am thanks to the lack of sleep but it was a damn good start to the holiday.

Monday - 'Quiet Night'
With a hangover (we made good use of the two hours) and thinking we needed to budget, we decided to have a 'quiet' night. What actually happened is we went to my now favourite bar in Ibiza - Ibiza Rocks - where they drew moustaches on our faces and we discovered they were fairly reasonable for drink prices. We then went on a bit of a bar crawl, including Hed Kandi Bar (just as good as the one here in Clapham, but with Hed Kandi promo girls wearing diamante nipple tassles and not much else), Soul City (a bit messy) and eventually Hush (apparently one of the better West End bars). I always claimed to hate the West End, or Puke Street as I call it, but if you go to the right places you'll be fine. Our quiet night ended with us getting lost and not climbing into bed until about 7am. Brilliant.

Tuesday - Pacha
Tuesday was my best night because we decided to check out Pacha for the first time for their Flower Power night. If you ever go to Ibiza, you have to go to this - it's a retro night with old music that will get you moving (I did the twist!) and everyone dresses as hippies. We hadn't known about the dressing up until the day, so we used my many coloured eyeliners to graffiti ourselves in flowers and general sparkle. Pacha is stunning as a club, but don't drink anything except water - we paid 35 euros for 'a bottle of wine' which was so small we barely got a glass each out of it between two of us. And make sure you check out the terrace - the perfect way to end a night if the sun's coming up.

Wednesday - Ibiza Rocks
After such a high the night before, we didn't think it could get better - but then we got tickets to see Friendly Fires at Ibiza Rocks Hotel. The hotel is the other side of the West End so we started in Amsterdam Bar, because they offered us this: a bottle of champagne, two drinks each of our choice, a huge pitcher of Sex on the Beach, and a shot each all for ten euros. Needless to say, we didn't need a lot more after that. Friendly Fires were amazing; Metronomy and Kissy Sell Out were also on and the crowd was buzzing (or was that just my head?!). We also met up with the guys we'd met at Pacha and carried on to the after party at Ibiza Rocks bar for a very very funny night...

Thursday - Amnesia
After another amazing night, we woke up smiling, laughing at everything that had happened the night before (together with photographic evidence, of course) and planned to have a 'quiet night' again as we were very quickly running out of money. Then my sister, who used to work out there and was texting me constantly to find out where I was so she could live vicariously, text me to say I should go to Cream at Amnesia. There goes the budget. We decided to go and did another deal - this time with drinks at Linekars (not a nice bar, but hey ho) followed by a bus to the iconic club. Be warned you're not allowed cameras in there and will be charged three euros for the privilege of them putting it in a cloakroom-for-cameras. Feeling a little hungover and grumpy, I decided alcohol was the way forward and promptly spent 18 euros on a vodka and lemonade. Followed by another one. And a shot of vodka to add to it. And a shot of J├Ąger (not my idea) to top it off. Then, I danced. Until around 6am. With flashing heart-shaped glasses on. I really suit Ibiza.

Friday - Sunset Cafes
It was my friend's birthday so after present opening, lunch and sunbathing, we went out for dinner at Mint Lounge which is along the sunset strip. Pete Tong was playing over at Cafe Mambo's and it was a really chilled out evening for the first time that week. Of course, one creepy clown/magician and some indoor fireworks later, we decided to get more wine in Mambo's, then walk home... via Ibiza Rocks Bar. Here we bumped into our Pacha/Friendly Fires friends and ended up on dodgems (best idea ever, well done Lee) where I got a lot of bruises that were 100% worth it for the sheer amount of giggling. For some reason we then ventured back to the West End despite it being about 4am, danced for about five minutes and then walked home. A very random but very fun night that ended with an old man near our apartments showing us his wallet and undoing his trousers before we ran away...

Saturday - Es Paradis
Our final day on the island was bittersweet - we were still having fun but knew it was coming to an end. But, we decided to forget about our overdrafts and have a good night out to say goodbye - with my much loved Hed Kandi. This year, the night is being held at Es Paradis, with a pre-party at Ibiza Rocks Bar - a pretty perfect combination. The Lovely Laura came down on a giant glittery moon (as you do) which we were almost directly under, and the night really kicked off. Sparklers were being handed around, promo girls were rolling around in roller boots and it was exactly what you'd want for a final night out. 

Covered in glitter still, we went straight from the club to our apartments, grabbed our bags and went to the airport. I won't bore you with how exhausted I was but let's just say I completely missed take off because I started snoozing the moment I sat down - and every time I came to I thought we were still on the ground. But it was so worth it - my body clock was ruined for a good week or so but I also have a lot more energy because I had so much fun and feel happier than ever. We're already planning on going back for a cheeky weekend before the end of the summer...

Quick tips
  • I used this Ibiza party calendar to plan some nights out before we went - check what's on and see what prices you can expect to pay. 
  • For a week, I changed £350 up into euros and it wasn't enough for all the above, despite cooking at the apartments and having cheap lunches. I would take around £450 for a good time, £400 for a good time on a budget. 
  • Don't be scammed by reps - make sure you know who they're working for 
  • Say yes to everything... no matter how hungover you are, or how broke you are, you don't want to miss out - it's an amazing island and you should get as much out of it as possible! You'll be amazed at how much energy you can have when you're enjoying yourself.


Me First

Posted by Judy Johnson On 15:27 0 comments
OK, so it's been a while. My plan of writing more while also living more wasn't so well thought out since, well, both take time. Well done me. But, while the inspiration for this post is the reason I've been so slack on the blogging front lately, it's also given me plenty of ideas, hastily scribbled on anything nearby - so prepare for a few posts coming your way. 

Lately, I have been putting myself first (and the site second, evidently). For the past few years I thought that that was what I was doing; surely, that's what you do when you're single, right? But throwing yourself into work, doing the sensible thing because the scary thing is downright terrifying and being the responsible one in the family isn't, as it turns out, the same as being a little selfish. I'm not saying I've been a cow, as my thirteen year old self would say - I've just been doing a little more of what I want and learning how to make decisions that cheer me up. 

So it probably wasn't the sensible thing to spend a further £200 that I do not have on Spanish Level 2 - but I get so much out of it, that I did it without even a moment's hesitation. Oops. And yes there is a pile of washing-up downstairs that requires my attention (they are yet to invent the dishwasher that loads itself, apparently), but I've realised I had come to resent Saturdays because I spent the majority of the precious free hours cleaning, so it now comes second to whatever I want to do. I can still be a Monica, but it fits in around my fun time. 

I've also realised that despite work commitments and the ever decreasing bank balance (or should that be ever increasing overdraft fees?), holidays are necessary. Holidays make the world go round. Taking time out is so underrated, particularly when moaning about the packing and organising that goes into it - but after my recent best-holiday-I've-ever-had-ever holiday in Ibiza (post upcoming), I've been so much happier, more positive and just feeling pretty damn good about life. 

Of course I am now back and missing it like crazy, but I also have hundreds of great memories that keep me going. In those party-filled seven days, I felt more like myself than I had in years; I took risks (good ones), danced all night every night, fell in love with music again, fell in love with the island again and had enough girl talk to last a lifetime (though there is always room for more).

So, 2011 is still going strong... and there's plenty more fun to be had. What about you - how do you make sure you put yourself first every once in a while?

Fine Tuning

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 5 June 2011 23:25 1 comments
This is a random little post, but I just wanted to share this fantastic video I came across thanks to Punch Bowl Blog.

I am a huge fan of Beyonce and always have been; having grown up loving the queens of power ballads like Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey (who in my opinion have since gone pretty downhill), when Destiny's Child/Beyonce came along I could marry my adoration of strong soulful voices to my love of R'n'B - and Beyonce became my idol.

Anyhoo, enough with the gushing - the video speaks for itself. This is Jay-Z filming his wife in rehearsal singing 1+1, and unsurprisingly she sounds abso-bloody-lutely amazing. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Just noticed this video was removed... rubbish! You can see her perform 1+1 in her Glastonbury performance though - it's when she's sat on top of the piano.


The School of Life

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 22 May 2011 17:37 1 comments
I was one of the hard workers at school. I was in top set for everything, I didn’t get anything below an A for any of my GCSEs, and I always got my homework in on time. Great, you might think. I must be really smart thanks to all those years of learning. Hey, I even have a degree – I must be super clever, right?

Well, wrong. I don’t feel smart. Because no matter what grades you get at school, they neglect to teach you about the fundamental things you will have to deal with in later life. In school we are repeatedly taught about osmosis. Henry VIII. Trigonometry. Now I don’t know about you, but I haven’t needed to work out the lengths of the sides of triangles since, ooh, year eleven, and while Henry VIII had a fascinating life that I’m sure could inspire a great horror movie, he has not helped me to understand how the country works and how to be a grown up. So, if the government happens to be reading – can you add these to the curriculum, please? It’s too late for me, but let’s give the kids a head start.

1.    Tax
The inspiration for this post and the most mind-numbingly painful task you will ever have to endure is completing a self assessment tax return. Oh. My. God. The deadline may be January 31st, but I only got mine sorted a few months later thanks to a system that makes no sense, appalling customer service and a complete lack of help available. After spending hours, and I mean hours, on the phone to people who should not be working for HMRC if their advice to me to pay two grand more than I owed ‘or else they’ll fine you’ is anything to go by, I eventually got through to someone who knew their job and told me what I needed to do in two seconds flat. Now, if school included a few lessons explaining how the tax system worked, I would not have a massive phone bill and raised blood pressure, and the tax office would have had their money much sooner. Smiles through gritted teeth all round.

2.    Politics
I used to be one of those people who thought, ‘I don’t do politics’. To me, it was boring, not relevant and far too complicated to understand. Then I grew up a little, went to uni and started to learn the basics about elections, parties and the way the media works to support them, and suddenly it became relevant. I also developed opinions of my own and left my conservative hometown behind. Don’t get me wrong, I still find it a little yawn-worthy and don’t know as much as I probably should – but I wish I knew more and that I’d been taught about how our country politically ticks along back in school. Even an explanation of how the voting system works would have been handy…

3.    Banking and money
Surely, surely this is something that they could squeeze into the curriculum. They could teach it in Maths along with Pythagoras and standard deviation. Just a few lessons on credit ratings, how to get a mortgage, pensions… money makes the world go round but no one tells you this stuff. A friend of mine is about to buy her first house and has been relaying the complicated saga of getting a mortgage, and I feel incredibly stupid just hearing about it – so I suppose it’s a good thing that I’ll probably never be able to get on the property ladder. But still, I’d like to know how it all works. I like learning.

I could go on – useful skills such as basic mechanics (my first car broke down a lot), IT (now that we live online) and maybe even a bit of plumbing (my boiler exploded a bit) would be more useful than learning about photosynthesis and sketching the physical changes to a potato when it’s kept in the dark (seriously, did I go to a stupid school?).  Plus, it would make the homework a lot more interesting. ‘Daddy, where are the keys to the car…?’

(And yes. That's me throwing my hat in the air.)

New Year's Resolutions, Revisited

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 8 May 2011 23:04 1 comments
Well, what's the point in making resolutions if you're not going to keep them? Or, more to the point, why blog about them for all to see if you're not going to at least have a go? You may remember I had five little life to-dos back at the start of 2011 (can you believe it's May already?!) so I thought I would write an update, if anything to motivate me to keep going. It's definitely been a better year than the last so far, and being 25 is treating me pretty well. Here's why... 

Resolution 1: Get me healthy
Still a work in progress - that doctor wasn't listening carefully enough - but I am taking my health into my own hands. I've tried out meditation with a wonderful lady who contacted me through Wahanda, and am probably going to sign up to her online membership (Julie records all her sessions and puts them up online so those of us who find it hard to fit it in can still take part). I am also power plating my way to (hopefully) abs that could be mistaken for J-Lo's, and power walking around the block whenever I get the chance. It's still not enough but it's a start, right?

Resolution 2: Get me outta here
OK, this one is a little harder to do in a short amount of time. But, I have just got back from a family trip to Swanage and am planning a girl's holiday for fun in the sun next month. Plus, my best friend just moved to Dubai (sob) so I am already plotting to go and visit once it cools down out there. As for the rest of the global travel to-do list, who knows... 

Resolution 3: Get me writing again, properly
Those tiny nagging inklings of doubt are still lurking, but I am trying to blog more these days and am still enjoying it - so that's the main thing. I seem to be most inspired at around one in the morning after watching a few too many episodes of Sex and the City, which makes it difficult to get stuck into writing anything solid (unless I want to be up all night), but I have written a few intros to stories that I am pleased with - I just haven't finished them yet. Maybe I'll start with short stories instead of a novel! On the upside, I did write my train etiquette post after one painful train ride too many, and it got picked up by a transport website as well as turning me into an official Grumpy Young Woman - so I am pretty proud of that...

Resolution 4: Get me a life
This one is going fairly well if I do say so myself. I booked myself in for Spanish lessons and am around halfway through. I am loving it. Not only is it great to be learning again (I am such a geek, I LOVE learning), but the language is as pretty as I thought it was and the people are lovely. If I can afford it, I'll be doing level 2 without a doubt and carrying on for as long as I can. I've also got my eyes on a few creative writing courses, am trying to find a cheap piano teacher in London and am generally busy every night of the week these days. I might be a bit exhausted when it gets to Sunday night, but it's so worth it. 

Resolution 5: Get me happy
This one was always going to be the hardest because I tend to compare myself to others with a glass-half-empty mentality - positive thinking doesn't come naturally to me. But, doing all of the above is certainly helping and I am keeping busy enough that I'm enjoying London more (separate post on that to come), feeling more active and, most of the time, looking forward to those slightly blurry goals rather than looking back with regrets. I've just finished reading Eat, Pray, Love - the film of which I've watched around ten times already - and it definitely inspired me to just start living. 2011 is already a big year and it's going to get bigger - so hopefully I will grow with it. Wow, that's cheesy. But true! 

Oh, and the photo is one of me and my sisters that my dad dug out - it makes me laugh every time I look at it. I'm the one in the middle. And I own a pair of sunglasses just like them now, at age 25 - so things can't be all bad!

What about you? Have you kept to your New Year's resolutions?


Top Five TV Series

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 17 April 2011 19:33 2 comments
Any of my Twitter followers will know that I'm a bit of a TV addict - put Tweetdeck in front of me when one of my favourite shows is on and you're guaranteed to find your timeline filled with chat about people and things that don't even exist In Real Life. 

When talking about my love of TV shows with real-life people, I've sometimes found there's a certain snobbery on the subject - I often get a slightly upturned nose, along with the comment 'Oh I don't watch a lot of TV. I'd rather listen to music'. Well, good for you. I do both. It doesn't make me an overweight couch potato who eats Pot Noodle for dinner, eyes glued to the screen - in fact I've never had a Pot Noodle in my life. It just means I love stories.

So, with the return of one of my most-loved shows this week (Desperate Housewives), I thought I'd do a round up of the best TV series out there - past and present:

1. Desperate Housewives
My inspiration and my guilty pleasure, Desperate Housewives has always been a firm favourite and I've never missed an episode. I can't believe it's on Series 7 already - there have been a lot of laughs, murders, guns, affairs and more, and it's still going strong. Yes there is way too much Botox involved (Bree's forehead makes mine feel funny - I wish someone would cut her a fringe and hide it away) and the men are somewhat lacking since Jesse Metcalfe left, but it's still brightening up my Wednesday nights. 

2. Sex and the City
This had to be in here, didn't it? The ultimate girls' TV show will, despite the not so great films, always be top of my list for entertainment. I recently bought the boxset (no, I can't believe I didn't own it either) and I am starting from the very beginning, where Carrie had awful brown hair (for all of one episode - quick learners) and she spoke to the camera constantly. An episode of SATC always inspires me to write something and gives me ideas, and it never gets boring no matter how many times you watch it. Oh, and Aidan is hot. 

3. Damages
What do you mean, 'what?'? If you have not heard of Damages, never mind seen it, SHAME ON YOU. I cannot stress enough how amazing this show is - and it is coming back this year for season four... I. Can't. Wait. With Glenn Close, Ted Danson, Rose Byrne and the swoon-worthy Timothy Olyphant as its stars, it's brilliant enough. Throw in a fantastic, twisty twirly plot that will have you gagging for more and you've got one of the best thrillers around.

4. Harper's Island
Sadly this was a one-off show but my god, did they make the most of it. You can read my full review of this frightfest on Screenjabber; but all you need to know is that if you like horror, you will LOVE this. I do love thrillers and horrors but would not dare watch this alone, nor without a cushion at hand - it's scary, jumpy, make-you-scream-in-your-living-room stuff but the story, and pleasingly the acting (despite it being full of teenager-type people) is fan-bloody-tastic. It also has a great soundtrack and introduced me to Civil Twilight - what more could you want?

5. Friends
This obviously had to be in here. Friends, without doubt, has a line or episode that can be applied to any single situation in life. I probably quote it daily whether it's out loud or in my head, and I can't go long without watching an episode because I would miss it. It's perfect for when you need a little boost, when you're tired and just need background noise, when there's nothing else on and you don't fancy a film... etc. I still can't decide who my favourite character is, though I adore the Rachel and Ross love story, and I still cry when I watch the final episode (despite knowing she gets off the plane, it hurts when she gets on the plane). Will they do a movie? Who knows, but I would be first in the cinema if they did...

What are your favourites?
I love romantic comedies. They continue along Disney's path of lulling us into a false sense of reality, making us think that some day, we'll all meet Mr or Mrs Perfect, Prince or Princess Charming, and all will be wonderful and happy-ever-after-ish. Sometimes it's what you need, whether it's to pretend Matthew McConaughey is going to knock on your door one day or simply to perv over Angelina Jolie. A good rom-com can cheer you up, inspire you to write, help you to remember the happy times with an ex, or simply give you an excuse not to do the laundry you've been putting off. 

But the problem with these Hollywood smile-filled, tear-jerking, emotional-soundtrack-having films is that life doesn't quite work like that, which is disappointing. After watching Serendipity last night (not bad, cute concept) which has some gorgeous scenes in it, I got to thinking about why my life will never resemble a rom-com (as much as I wish it would)...

1. I can not - no, WILL not - ice skate
Ever noticed how many films feature an ice rink? Usually it's at night, snowing, with glowing lights illuminating the rosy-cheeked faces of the merry couple. This would not happen in my life. Any attempt for me to even stand on ice is like a reenactment of Bambi taking his first steps on it and having tried it twice I refuse to ever try again, let alone with someone I'm trying to impress. Romance needs a romantic setting - unfortunately, for me it also has to be on dry, non-slippery land.

2. I don't do heels
Whether it's Cinderella's glass slipper tactic or the shot that makes you think 'wow' of the woman in a show-stopping dress and high heels, it isn't going to happen for me. I'm too tall to wear heels for a start, but more importantly I a) can't stand having painful feet and b) can't stand in the damn things (in fact, it's quite similar to previous Bambi comment). The best I can manage is sparkly flip flops. Not quite the same, is it?

3. I look rubbish in the day time
There's a bit of a trend with, oh, everyone I meet - they always comment that I look like a different person as soon as the glasses are off, the contact lenses are in and I've sorted my face out (as I call it, they're not that rude) for night time fun. I make effort in the mornings - I won't leave the house without makeup, do what I can with my crappy hair and dress pretty well - but I am basically invisible as my daytime self. It may be the glasses, it's definitely the hair (I should have been born with curly hair. I wasn't. It upsets me), but whatever it is, I'm not going to spontaneously get noticed by the man of my dreams while shopping in Tesco. Unless he's really desperate.

All this aside, I have had my romantic (and comedic) moments; from emotional chats in the pouring rain to candlelit nights in. And when I walk along the street with my MP3 player on, I like to imagine it's my life soundtrack and everyone else can hear it too. I just wish Matt Damon was my co-star...     
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