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Kinky Boots – A Review & Backstage Tour

February 28, 2019

If you’ve seen the striking advertising around Bristol (who can miss those huge red boots?!) then you’ll know that Kinky Boots, the musical, is currently at the Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 9th March. I was lucky enough to watch the show last night and had the chance to meet some of the cast and go backstage for a quick tour.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t know the story behind Kinky Boots beforehand and didn’t know anyone who had seen the show so I had no idea what to expect. Luckily the cast of the show and the team from the Hippodrome were on hand to fill me in.

Kinky Boots is based on a true story and follows Charlie Price who inherits his family’s struggling shoe factory in Northampton. Charlie attempts to turn the factory’s fortunes around with the help of the fabulous Lola, a drag queen from London. I won’t give any spoilers away but if you love drag queens, appreciate a good shoe and can’t resist a song and dance, then this is the show for you!

As I mentioned, we were lucky enough to go backstage and even have some pictures on the stage before the show. It was fascinating to see the space where the cast change and how all the props and set pieces are set up beforehand. We were all living our best lives on the stage pretending that it could have been us performing that night. We can dream!

Obviously what we all wanted to see and learn about was THE SHOES! The shoes for every cast member in every Kinky Boots show around the world are handmade by an Australian company called Stepping Out. They take 21 measurements so each pair is the perfect fit. The Bristol show required 48 pairs to be made with each pair costing approximately £2500! Unfortunately, even though the shoes are custom made, the cast don’t get to keep their shoes and they go to the London show to be used as spares. I’d be gutted!

As always, I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities I get through my blog so thank you very much to the team at Bristol Hippodrome and Kinky Boots for a fantastic evening. I’ve been singing the songs all day which is a sign of how good the show was. I’m even listening to the soundtrack as I write this!

As of writing, there are still tickets left for this week at the Bristol Hippodrome and I highly recommend you go. Visit atgtickets.com/bristol for full ticket details. The last show is on Saturday 9th March so be quick!

I was gifted two tickets to Kinky Boots in return for a review but all views are my own.

Lifestyle, My Life, Travel

Reflections on 2018

January 15, 2019

So here we are. 2019. Two thousand and nineteen. How did that happen? As always, the past year has absolutely flown by but I want to take the time to reflect as usual.

I’m not necessarily one to count countries (I have the ‘been’ app on my phone to keep track but I don’t have a target number ofcountries that I want to visit) but this year I managed to visit 6 new countries! Here’s a quick sentence on each:

Croatia (Pula and Plitvice Lakes National Park) – A better colosseum than Rome (apparently) and lakes so blue you won’t believe your eyes.

Italy (Venice) – The perfect place to wander for hours, only stopping for pizza and an Aperol Spritz…

Slovenia – Lake Bled and the surrounding area is like something out of a fairytale –breathtakingly beautiful.

Slovakia (Bratislava) – Not the prettiest but it’s got an interesting history and plenty of places to buy cheap beer and food – what’s not to love?!

Austria (Vienna) – You’ll spend the entire time looking up at the amazing buildings. The neck ache is worth it.

Hungary – A ‘been but not seen’. I literally ran around the tri-point of Slovakia, Austria and Hungary and walked into Hungary for a few minutes. I’m counting it though haha…

I’ve got two European breaks squeezed in before Brexit hits (if it happens at all…) but hopefully there won’t be too much disruption to my love of a city break! What are your plans for the year ahead?

Lifestyle, My Life

Hello again!

June 30, 2018

Hello! Long time, no blog post. I think this is probably the longest break I’ve taken from blogging. I didn’t mean to take a break, I just haven’t felt like writing anything for a while. But apologies for that, I’m back!

So, what have I been up to? I actually hate it when someone asks me that question. I instantly forget everything I’ve done recently and think that I’m really boring. But I have the time to think now so can actually tell you.

I’m still doing lots of running. Unfortunately the Weston half marathon was called off due to all the snow we had in March so I kept the momentum going and entered the Bath Two Tunnels half in May. It was a scorching hot day but a lot of the race is through old railway tunnels which are nice and cool. I really enjoyed the race and got a PB of 1:55 which was 4 minutes off my last time. I then took part in the Hogweed Trot 10k later on in May and got a PB there as well! I’ve got a couple more races in the diary, Keynsham 10k in October and Bath Half next March so I’ll be keeping up the running for a while yet. I may also be doing the Barcelona half marathon next February (flights are booked so we’ll definitely be there!) so that’s very exciting.

May also had a lovely break to Center Parcs in Longleat with Stu’s family. I absolutely love Center Parcs so it was lush to spend 5 days there. Our days were filled with pancakes, badminton and the rapids. If you haven’t been to Longleat Forest in a while, then I can confirm that the new water slides are amazing! We could have thought that Center Parcs could get any better?!

June has been a bit quieter but we saw Ed Sheeran in Cardiff who was great. I’ve never managed to see him at Glastonbury or get a ticket for one of his shows before so had been waiting a long time! It was a great performance and I loved singing and dancing along all night.

Next month I’m off to Croatia in Stu. We’re very excited! It’s our first beach holiday for years and I can’t wait to properly relax. I’m sure we’ll still try and explore quite a bit of the area we’re staying in, I can’t really say that I’ve been to Croatia if I barely left the hotel! We’re staying near Pula so let me know if you have any recommendations!

Anyway, that’s it from me. I’ll be back soon with Croatia updates and hopefully some more posts on Bristol.

Lifestyle, My Life

I Quit Facebook for 6 Weeks

April 8, 2018

If you read this post, you’ll remember that for Lent this year, I gave up two things. Facebook and Bread. Bread was a struggle but after deleting my Facebook, I was never tempted to log on. It made me wonder why I ever checked my news feed in the first place.

When Easter Sunday came around, I was that excited about eating bread and Easter eggs that I didn’t even consider downloading the Facebook app again.

It was a few days later that I eventually logged back on. Scrolling through my news feed reminded me of why I came off the platform in the first place. I definitely need a clear out of my ‘friends’ list, I haven’t had a cull for a few years and I desperately need one.

So why did I log back on?

It wasn’t to keep in contact with people. I didn’t delete all my social media and if someone’s a friend, they’ll have my number.

It wasn’t to stalk someone I used to know from school and it wasn’t because I missed all the annoying videos or posts with names of girls who are going to pregnant in 2018.

It was because of this blog. I’m lucky enough that this blog presents me with lots of amazing opportunities. Restaurant reviews, hotel visits and much more. Some of these opportunities come from Facebook and I don’t want to miss out on something because I no longer use my profile. If I didn’t find so many blog opportunities through Facebook, I would quit for good.

Not using Facebook for 6 weeks means that I definitely use it less though. It’s no longer part of my ‘cycle’ of apps that I check and I only go on if I have a notification. So even though I’m back, adjusting my usage is a good thing to come out of my time away.

So for now, I’m back. Begrudgingly.

Lifestyle, Lists, My Life

I’m a Feminist, but…

March 12, 2018

I’ve been listening to The Guilty Feminist podcast quite a bit recently and they start each show by all sharing reasons that have made them a guilty feminist that week. For example, I’m a Feminist, but I loved the 50 Shades of Grey movie. None of us can be perfect and it’s great way of showing that as hard as you try to be a feminist, it’s not easy to always act or think in the ‘right’ way. I wanted to share some of the reasons why I’m a Feminist, but…

I’m a Feminist, but when a lecturer at uni asked the class who was, I didn’t put my hand up.

I’m a Feminist, but sometimes I let men insist I walk through a door first even when I’m holding the door open for them.

I’m a Feminist, but Love Island was probably my favourite TV show last year.

I’m a Feminist, but sometimes I find it hard to explain to my boyfriend why women don’t have equal rights.

I’m a Feminist, but I hate groups of drunk girls. Unless I’m one of them.

I’m a Feminist, but I’m more than happy for someone to carry my stuff if I’m struggling.

I’m a Feminist, but I didn’t do anything to mark International Women’s Day. Apart from one lame tweet.

I’m a Feminist, but sometimes other feminists annoy me.

I highly recommend Deborah Frances-White’s podcast, it’s absolutely hilarious so be careful when listening in public!

Have you got any I’m a Feminist, but..’s to share ?

Lifestyle, My Life

Goodbye Facebook. It’s not me, it’s you. 

February 11, 2018

This year I’m giving myself the best Valentine’s gift. I’m deleting my Facebook account.

I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while so by deleting my account for Lent, I can see how I get on without it and then make a decision in 6 weeks time about whether the deletion is a permanent one. At this point, I think it might be.

So why Facebook? In all honestly, I don’t think I get any happiness from Facebook. Yeah, I get tagged in the odd funny meme and video but most of the time I’m scrolling past a load of content that I don’t really care about. I’ve had a few culls of Facebook ‘friends’ over the years to get rid of those random people you met in Freshers week or Sophie, who you sat next to in Year 9 Maths but I still get bored by my feed. It used to be full of status updates and photos that I was interested in but now it’s just endless videos that I don’t watch.

I considered deleting all my social media accounts for Lent but I actually enjoy Twitter and Instagram. I literally LOL at a lot of things on Twitter and am regularly amazed at the beautiful photography I see on Instagram. That’s the reason that I interact on these platforms and not Facebook. I can’t remember the last time I came off Facebook feeling better than I did when I clicked on the app. I honestly just scroll through the app out of habit and I’m looking forward to not doing that anymore. Why should I spend time doing something that doesn’t make me happy?

I’ve had a think about what I might miss about Facebook and nothing immediately springs to mind which probably speaks for itself. I’ve made the decision to keep my blog’s Facebook page as I want to be able to still share my posts with the people who follow the page but my personal account is going to be deactivated and I’m actually really excited to do it!

Goodbye Facebook. It’s not me, it’s you.

Blogging, Lifestyle

My Blogging Goals for 2018

January 16, 2018

I’ve spoken already about what my plans are for 2018 but I want to talk about what my plans for this blog are.

Last year I had lots of grand plans and wrote them down in a notebook and then promptly forgot about them. I’m hoping that by making them a bit more public, I’ll be more inclined to stick to them. Fingers crossed anyway…

So, my main goal is to create regular, engaging content.

Very vague.

What I mean by this, is that I get more enjoyment from my blog when engagement is high and I find that posting more regularly leads to more engagement.

I’ve got a few tips to try and help with this.

  1. I’ve signed up to Sophie Cliff’s e-course to learn how to grow my blog with a full time job. I’m loving the course so far. It’s really inspiring and I can’t wait to put it all in to action.
  2. Make time for blogging. I quite often say that I haven’t got time to post regularly but that’s just an excuse really. I’ve found time to run every day in January so far so I’m sure I can find time to blog.
  3. Quality over quantity. I don’t want regular to mean I post some half-hearted rubbish 3 times a week. I want to make sure I only post what I’m happy with and would enjoy reading on someone else’s blog. After all, if I wouldn’t read it, why would I expect my readers to?
  4. Engage with other blogs more. I’m hoping (though I have no evidence to back this up) that engagement leads to engagement. I want to like more tweets and Instagram photos, comment on blogs and photos, take part in twitter chats and just generally share the love in the blogosphere a bit more. I know how happy it makes me feel when I get comments or someone shares my post so I want to do this more for the blogs I’m enjoying. I also find that blog comment sections are a great place to find other blogs to follow.

So, how does that sound? Achievable? I think so.

So let’s add some goals that seem less achievable to really push myself.

I want to work with 3 brands in 2018.

I want to increase my following on Twitter and Instagram by 20%.

Okay, that was scary to write down. But with this post to hold me accountable, it’s something I can work towards.

Make sure you’re following me on Twitter and Instagram to be a part of my blogging journey in 2018 (cheeky plug to help me achieve my goals…). Let’s do this!

This post is part of my entry to win a place at The Bloggers’ Retreat, wish me luck!

Lifestyle, My Life

Living Like It’s Your Last Day

January 11, 2018

I, like many other people it seems, recently read this post by Holly Butcher where she left one last message to the world before she sadly passed away. If you haven’t read it yet then I urge you to do so.

We all know that life is short but unfortunately it usually takes the loss of a loved one to make us realise just how fragile life is.

So what can we do? Is living each day as if it’s your last actually realistic?

Well I think that depends on what you would do on your ‘last day’. Would you spend all your money on a new car or would you want to spend time with your friends and family? When it comes to it, we’ve still got to work (girl got bills to pay) so most days will be normal. Average even. So here’s how I’m going to make the most of every day.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. If it won’t matter in a year, it doesn’t matter now.

Get outside more.

Appreciate the moment.

Really taste good food.

Put my phone away more on an evening.

Stop comparing myself to others.

Say yes to new experiences.

Ring my friends and family more.

Say ‘I love you’ more.

Recognise when I need to relax.

Not get obsessed with saving and stop feeling guilty when spending money on myself.

What are you planning on changing?

Oh and if you want to really make a difference, sign up to give blood and register to be an organ donor.

Enjoy life!

Lifestyle, My Life

Plans for 2018.

January 1, 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR PALS!

Hope your heads aren’t too sore and you make the most of the last day of the Christmas holidays by eating all the cheese and chocolate in sight. I’ve actually got tomorrow off work as well but we’re planning on taking the tree down which is sad. Secretly excited to dust and hoover the lounge again though. Adult life.

I was writing some events in our new calendar and it got me realising that there’s already a lot to look forward to this year. We’ve got tickets to Jake Bugg, Ed Sheeran, Wicked and the athletics in Birmingham.

This month I’ve signed up to the crazy challenge of running every day in January. Urggghh. I’ll be running a half marathon in March so I’m just thinking of it as good training. I’m putting myself through this for Mind as the January blues are a real thing for many of us and Mind offer amazing support to those suffering with their mental health. If you’d like to donate, please do so here.

I’ve mentioned on here before that I’ve been training to become a Business & Personal coach so this year will see me complete the qualification. I’m already putting my training to good use and I love coaching. I’d like to stretch myself and aim to take on some paying clients this year. Something which both scares and excites me!

Travel wise, I don’t have much planned so far. We’re in Glasgow at the moment and will be in Kent next week for a wedding. We’ve then got a family trip to Center Parcs booked for May but that’s all for now. I’m desperate for some sun so hopefully we can book a trip somewhere hot soon. We’ve  done quite a few city breaks in the last few years so hopefully we can explore some more of Europe this way.

So that’s my plans so far, what are your plans for 2018?

Lifestyle, My Life

Reflections on 2017.

December 28, 2017

How is it time to write this post already? I’ve been writing my ‘reflections’ posts since 2014 and I really enjoy looking back on the year and taking a moment to appreciate all that I’ve done.

So 2017. Full of Fake News, Brexit news, Trump news and a whole lot of worry that we’re on a brink of a nuclear war. You’ve got to look on the bright side though right? You could be that girl in Bristol who got stuck in a window trying to rescue the poo that she was trying to get rid of. Imagine.

I’ve had such a busy few years that when I was thinking about what I’ve done this year, there wasn’t anything that immediately came to mind. It’s been a fairly steady year. Same job, same house and a few more places ticked off the bucket list. Here’s a few of my highlights:

  • Celebrating various weddings with friends and family
  • Drinking beer in Bruges and actually enjoying it
  • Eating the best pasties in the world in Cornwall
  • Seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland
  • Starting my Post Grad course in Business & Personal Coaching
  • Finally decorating the living room
  • Feeling like a proud parent taking my Mum and Stepdad to the airport for their gap year
  • Seeing the Harry Potter play in London with my sister
  • Seeing Busted twice – still can’t believe that they’re back!
  • Attending numerous blog events and reviewing some of my favourite restaurants

Me and Stu are going to be in Glasgow for NYE so I’m looking forward to seeing in the year Scottish style! Hope you’ve all had a fantastic year. Thanks for staying with my blog – I’ve been blogging less recently but it’s good to see that people still read when I do occasionally post.

See you in 2018!