Sunday, 30 March 2014

Parenting done right

I think being a parent is the best job in the world. I know it's easy for me to say because I don't have kids bla bla bla, but I am so so excited for when I do become a parent. You get to pour everything that you are into this tiny person who is made up of you and the person you love (hopefully!). There's something so wonderful about that. Is this getting too mushy for a seventeen year old girl's blog yet?

As cheesy as it is to say (and I'm sure so many other girls my age say the same), I absolutely love children. I'm not going to go listing all the child work placements that belong on my CV but I've loved every second that I've spent working with kids (cringearoonie) and I'm good with them. There's no way to say that without sounding cocky but two people maximum will read this post anyway so I'll write a cringe little secret: I've been called um, "gifted" with a "talent" for working with children. I'm reading this back and dying of embarrassment but it's kind of a passion. Uh oh, cringe again.

This is why I'm so bloody excited to have my own kids. I love other people's so much that I can't imagine how I'm going to feel about my own. I'll probably cry with happiness all day long just from watching them. If I could, I'd drop out of school now and start a family. Like, in my head, I'm ready to be a mum. That sounds so stupid, I know, and of course it's not going to happen. I don't have enough money for that, nor do I even have anyone to have babies with, and I want to get a degree and have an actual job before I settle down.

So this leads me to admitting that I've thought about how I want to raise my (as of yet) non-existent children. Like, there's no harm in writing it all down in a post which is exactly what I'm going to do now. I'd love to have two boys and two girls, because I feel like every girl should have a sister and that every boy should have a brother, and I don't want just sons or just daughters. I also want a big-ish family, so four seems like a pretty good number. I realise you can't plan this kind of stuff bla bla bla, but this is just what would be ideal.

I've got names sorted but a lot of other girls my age have too so I don't even feel too bad about that! The top contenders right now are Emmeline and Nicolas. But little Emmeline and Nico won't be subjected to gender stereotypes. What does anyone even gain from dressing a girl in pink and a boy in blue? It makes me so angry at work when little boys ask for pink balloons and their dads say "god, I've got a weird one here! You want blue, don't you?" I'll definitely want to know the baby's sex before it's born but I probably wouldn't tell anyone else because - and this sounds so stupid - but as everyone buys the baby presents, I want gender neutral ones. Bring on the yellow, green, orange, red and purple. What's cuter than a baby's room with orange walls?

Maybe this all sounds a bit too controlling but I've heard about mothers who are a lot more anal than this when raising their kids (like hello, Gwyneth Paltrow is mad). I think maybe part of it is that old cliche, you know where parents push every dream they never achieved onto their kids (cue "I'm giving up your dream Dad, not mine!" - every white boy in every film). I want my not-yet-born-or-even-conceived Emmeline and Nico to be good at everything that I wasn't, like singing and dancing, and playing instruments and being good at maths. But I also want them to be like me in that I'm bloody loving life and that I try to do something nice for someone else everyday.

Perhaps I shouldn't even be thinking about what I want them to be like because they should decide for themselves who they want to be. But parents shape who you are as a person and parenting is a huge part of how you treat other people and how you act in every day life. I'm thoughtful like my dad but I'm also really chatty like my mum. I'm sometimes bad tempered like my mum too and I'm totally unadventurous like my homebody dad. Everyone gets the good bits and the bad bits from their parents.

I think this is just going to get a lot more rambly if I continue but what I'm trying to say is that I think I know what my parenting style (if that's even a thing) is going be. Do you?

(Also, I haven't proofread this yet, and probably won't ever do so - apologies for any typos!)

Monday, 24 March 2014

What does your profile picture say about you?

I've been thinking a lot lately about what people's profile pictures say about them. I stumbled across this dry but humorous article and definitely agreed with a lot of what it had to say. It's worth a read. I also felt that this video was relevant and it made me laugh:

So, I ask you, why did you pick your current profile picture? What do you like about it? Please do share, I'm curious.

Here's my profile picture on Facebook at the moment:

This is me with one of my best friends. It was taken at his birthday party a couple of months ago and he looks a bit bombed, let's not ignore that. But I think it's such a happy photo and, as vain as it may sound, I also think it's a pretty cute photo. It was only after I uploaded it that it occurred to me that we might look a bit like a couple in it, although anyone who knows us knows how crazy unlikely that is.

It just had me wondering, what does this picture say about me? Because it's important. The way I present myself to my 500+ friends on Facebook matters and I definitely care what a lot of them think of me. To me, this photo says I love my friend and I'm feeling pretty happs.

Perhaps this is a bit of a pointless post and I know I haven't articulated what I'm trying to say as well as I could have but I'm tired and at the same time have realised I've hardly blogged this month. Maybe this links a bit to a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago because I selected this photo to be my profile picture above any other photos for particular reasons, whether or not I was conscious of that decision.

I hope you're all having wonderful Mondays!

The Liebster Award, take 2

I've been nominated for my second Liebster Award by the lovely Flossa (is your name Flossa or Florence or something else? I'll go with Flossa for today!) who has a pretty bangin blog, so be sure to go and check it out. I also think she's really beautiful, if that's not too weird to say? I'm pretty sure we all know the Liebster rules so let's get a-crackin with this.

11 facts about me:

1) I like doing my own piercings and have a pretty fab time doing so whenever I feel I need a new addition to my ears.

2) If I'm in my house, I will not be properly dressed. I'll be in tracksuit bottoms and a hoody, with a chavtastic ponytail. 

3) I currently have "I love me" written on my right hand, and it's not even a lie. I feel extraordinarily happy today.

4) Squeezing spots is one of my favourite things to do. Sorry if this gets a bit TMI, but wow, when you watch that puss fly out of a spot.. oooh, it's one of the best things ever.

5) This weekend, I'm pretty sure I became obsessed with a guy from work who lives in Croydon's ghettos and has scars from a knife attack on his neck. He also looks like Edward Scissorhands.

6) In less than three months' time, I'll be done with school forever. That thought excites me as much as it terrifies me.

7) I can't do work when it's set. I have to do it the night before it's due or I just can't get myself to buckle down and do it.

8) I've realised how much I love making other people happy and seeing them smile. It's like that super cheesy quote goes: "Happiness is a perfume which you can't pour on others without spilling a few drops on yourself".

9) My phone's background is my best friend in all da wurld looking at me and laughing. Sometimes when I'm feeling all emotional, I get this overwhelming feeling of love for her.

10) Aforementioned best friend and I have decided to start uploading little vlogs to YouTube like every other teenagers on the planet. Feast yo eyes (and ears) on this.

11) I haven't seen my bedroom's carpet in about six weeks, I'm that messy.

Flossa's fabby questions:

1) If you could change one aspect of your personality, what would it be?

I've had to really think about this. I think I'd like to not be so quick to judge people and jump to conclusions. It doesn't really do anyone any favours, least of all me.

2) Do you consider yourself a feminist?

Hell yeaaaa! I could go on about this for a long time, but looking at The Everyday Sexism Project gets me pretty riled up.

3) What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?

I was fifteen years old and doing my Silver DofE expedition when I needed a wee. We'd stopped at one of our designated checkpoints but our assessor wasn't there so I decided to pop into a bush for a wee (where else?!). I'd just got my toilet paper ready and had pulled down my leggings and knickers when I turned round to see our assessor behind me... in the bush. Cry. He saw my bare bum cheeks.

4) If your house was burning down, what's one item you would save?

I'd save my laptop (let's be practical).

5) Are you scared of spiders?

Yes. Very much so. I can't help but squeal in terror whenever I see one.

6) Do you prefer large or small groups of people?

Oooh, I don't know. I love small groups when I know everyone there really well, but I like larger groups for mingling and getting to know new people. So, both?

7) Do you believe in God?

Yessir. My family doesn't but I do, so, while I don't go to church, I do pray and I feel like that's a great form of release.

8) If you had to spend the rest of your life with one person, who would that be?

I'm sure this answer will vary depending on what day of the week you catch me on. Today, I'll pick my close friend/kind-of-ex-boyfriend-ish, Tom. He's a fab guy and we get on so well. He also makes me really really happy so he'd probably be a good choice.

9) Favourite smell?

I'd have to say the smell of garden centres. It's kind of the same one as when you walk into a garden shed, just that lovely, fresh, mossy scent. Mmmm.

10) Do you like your name?

My full name is Katherine Emma Green (cheeky KEG there) but it's just Kate Green, really. It's a bit boring but it's alright. I wouldn't mind something really elegant like Elizabeth or Emmeline but I'll just save those for my own daughters.

11) What do you think is the most interesting aspect of your personality?

God, that's a hard one. I suppose it depends on what you define as interesting. Is it interesting that I only actually feel sad like 2% of the time? I feel lucky that I'm so so happy.

And there end my answers. Thanks Flossa for some great questions. None of the usual "what's your favourite lipstick" or "worst beauty-related accident ever?!". These ones really made me think, so thank you for that.

I'd like to nominate Barbs and Jess. I'm very much aware that this is not eleven other bloggers but let's be honest, I don't know that many, and I love both Jess and Barbs's blogs. Check them out yo. Here are my questions for them:

1) What's your favourite song at the moment?
2) How happy are you on a scale of 1 - 10 right now?
3) What's the saddest thing you've heard in the past week?
4) Write about the person you think of the most.
5) Do you overuse any words or phrases?
6) Where do you want to be in ten years' time?
7) What's your favourite time of the day and why?
8) Do you have any disgusting habits? Please divulge.
9) Talk about your earliest memory.
10) Is anything hurting you right now?
11) How does blogging impact on your daily life?

And I also nominate YOU. I used to get kind of jealous when I was never nominated for this kind of thing so please, if you're reading this and you want to do it, just answer the questions. Send me a link to your post because I'd love to read it! xo

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Most Perfect Baileys Cupcakes

2014 Blogger Challenge - post 6

I love Baileys and I love cupcakes, so when I realised that Baileys is basically alcoholic milk, and that most cupcake recipes include milk, I got a little bit excited. A year or two ago, I stumbled across the best cupcake recipe ever. It makes the lightest, fluffiest, most delicate sponge with just fifteen minutes in the oven. To save you the effort of lifting your finger to click on the link, I'll just type it out myself here with some slight modifications:

Ingredients you'll need:

(for the cake)
110g margarine
110g self-raising flour
110g caster sugar (super easy to remember, right?!)
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp of Baileys (perhaps more if you want to taste it strongly!)

(for the butter icing)
140g margarine
280g icing sugar
2 tbsp of Baileys (or more...)

How to make the cupcakes:

1) Heat the oven to 180 degrees and get your little muffin tin ready with the cupcake cases.
2) Mix together the butter and sugar till it's pale; this literally takes less than thirty seconds.
3) Tip the egg in and mixy mix it all up.
4) Fold in the flour with a spoon (no mixers here please) and make sure it's all mixed in.
5) Pour in yo Baileys!
6) Fill the cases halfway with the mixture and then proceed to lick the spoons and bowl clean.
7) Pop them in the oven for thirteen minutes, then check on them, and give them any extra time they might need.

How to make the butter icing:

1) Beat all the butter until it's soft and just looking good; it's instinct, you'll just know.
2) Add the icing sugar little by little. Really, or it flies everywhere and you'll be cleaning it up for about six hours. (NB: don't mix it with wet hair or the sugar gets stuck in it and makes it super sticky.. take it from me)
3) Pour in yo Baileys and mix it all up.
4) Wait for the cupcakes to cool. Be patient.
5) Either spread or, if you're being fancy, pipe the icing onto the cakes.

I did this last Wednesday night and wowie, I was stuffed until Friday breakfast time. I also had great fun tweeting my incredibly jealous best friend a series of photos of me with the cakes.

Happy baking!


My family and I moved into our current home in 2002 when I was six years old. On one side lived another family with three daughters, and on the other side lived two sisters named Pam and Joan. They were 81 years old and 85 years old, respectively. They'd lived in that house for close to forty years after their aunt died and left it to them. I never really saw much of Pam and Joan but my mum went round for tea all the time and sometimes they came here. They were both pretty nosy and loved to see inside everyone's houses, but they were also always really sweet and liked chatting to all the children they met at the local church.

Pam and Joan were so sociable and had tons of friends. I think this is why, when Joan died in October 2011 at the grand old age of 95, Pam never really seemed that sad about it. She had loads of support from their family and her - quite literally - hundred of friends that I don't think she was ever able to dwell on how lonely she felt - if she was, that is. It was at this time we started having Pam round for dinner every two weeks as a lot of the food she ate was pre-cooked and just frozen. My mum thought it would be great for her to have a hot, fresh meal once a fortnight and to have some company for a few hours too.

Every other Tuesday, I'd pop round to Pam's and hold her arm as she tottered from her front door to ours, and then from the porch to the kitchen table. She'd always bring us a box of chocolates. She dressed in one of her many tartan kilts each week, along with a pastel coloured cardigan, her bright blue beret, and a lot of rouge on her cheeks. She always made such an effort so, in turn, we made an effort too. Each time she came, there'd be a traditional roast of some kind, followed by a pretty extravagant dessert. Her absolute favourite was Queen of Puddings and, while she'd rarely have second helpings of the main course, she'd always ask for extra dessert.


As we ate, Pam would tell us stories about her life growing up in the West Indies, and her love for cats, tennis, playing the piano. Although she was physically frail, mentally she was just so with it and was always up to date on current affairs. She once even asked me to sit her down in front of the computer and show her Facebook and how it worked! Every time something came up which she didn't quite understand, she'd say "ooh, well fancy that!", throwing her head back and letting out a little chuckle. I hate how I'm writing this all in past tense; she was just so alive. I don't know, maybe that sounds stupid to say, but I never really thought about her dying.

In September last year, I'd come home from school early and my mum was out but had left her phone on the kitchen worktop. Pam had a little emergency panic button which she'd press when she needed help and a call would come straight through to us with a prerecorded message. When my mum's phone rang and I heard the message, I didn't immediately understand what it was but it finally clicked in my silly little head and I ran over to hers to ring the doorbell, except she obviously didn't answer. I forgot that our family actually had a key to her house but I think that was almost a blessing because on the way to our other neighbours for help, I ran into her friend/housekeeper who came back with me and let us in.

We found her lying on the floor, wedged behind the door with her legs underneath a chair that had fallen on top of her. I was freaking out but her friend, John, was so chill and we managed to get her to stand up and sit back on her chair. She said she was in a lot of pain so he called an ambulance which took its sweet time to get here - almost an hour which is pretty crappy for a 92 year old lady. It turned out she'd fractured her hip and so she went into hospital to recover. I'm ashamed to say that's the last time I saw her. She went into a nursing home for a few weeks after she came out of hospital and then was bed-ridden when she finally returned home.

I didn't go to visit her because I didn't want to see her like that which I know is really selfish. The one time I did go, however, a few weeks ago, she was asleep. I'm not too sure of the details but I think she developed some sores in the hospital which never really cleared up and also caught a chest infection. It was this chest infection that caused her to go back into hospital on Thursday 13th February this year. Her condition deteriorated rapidly there and she died at 7.30am on Saturday 15th February. Initially, my first thought was thank goodness she's not suffering anymore. She'd had a pretty awful time whilst ill and kept asking for "the Lord to take her". She didn't want to live any more. And, while it's nice that she's no longer in pain, it's tragic because she'd had such a great life up until the end. I wish those last few months weren't so dreadful for her.

Pam's funeral was yesterday afternoon and it was the first time I'd been to one. It was held in the local church which she'd been a part of for decades and decades. Around sixty people turned up to say goodbye. Sadly, it didn't feel like much of a celebration of Pam's life but more her life story told in a monotone voice. I learnt that she was born in Jamaica, and lived in a lot of great places like St Kitts and Trinidad and Tobago before moving to England permanently at the age of twelve. I also learnt that she was really into dancing and used to perform with a group of other women in front of audiences.

I feel like the Pam people talked about yesterday wasn't really the one that I knew. I do feel sad that I'm not going to hear her little giggle again, or see those rouged cheeks or that huge gold ring, but she's now in the heaven she so reverently believed in and is buried with her sister who she loved most in the world. She's lived an incredibly interesting and fulfilling life and I'm so thankful that I was able to know her for the last few years of it.

Rest peacefully, Pammy.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

The life we want to show you

I'm pretty sure I've written about it before, but I've absolutely been loving Nina Nesbitt's Selfies lately. Have a little watch of the video and even a read of the lyrics because that's what I want to talk about today.

Whilst watching the video, one particular part jumped out at me and kind of left me, well, not reeling as such, but with a sense of oh my god that is so accurate wow. It was this:


Selfies... the life we want to show you. When have you ever instagrammed or tweeted or facebooked a photo of something you didn't want all your friends or followers to see? Never. Like, why would you want to appear less - for want of a better word - cool than you actually are? You just wouldn't. You put up a cute photo of your new tshirt like, oh I just went shopping, best day ever. Or maybe a photo of your super yummy lunch you made, and then a photo of your favourite candle and a book you're reading like, such a relaxing evening. Some particularly scheming (in my eyes!) people post photos of their revision guides and them surrounded in a sea of paper and notes to show how much work they're doing. To make themselves look good. I'm not saying they're not studying hard - they probably are - but they love to showcase it. Because it's what they want everyone to see.

I don't have instagram but I do have facebook and I do have this blog. If an unflattering photo of me makes its way onto facebook, I'll remove the tag and remove it from my timeline. If there's a photo in which I'm kind of on the edge of the group of people or I'm not talking to anyone in it, I'll get rid of that too. Because I feel like it makes me look like an outsider and that's not how I want to present myself to people. A photo which highlights my non-flat stomach? Goodbye photo. Double chin alert? Bad lighting? Straggly hair? Gone gone gone. I have the option to moderate what appears on my facebook, what my 561 friends see, so I do.

And I also have the option to moderate what you, you lovely readers, see on this blog. I'll only post photos of myself which I like (and perhaps there have been seventeen disgusting-looking ones before the one which ends up on here - you'll never know!). This also goes for my posts. Most of what I write on here is about places I've been to, photos of great parties, book reviews, haul posts, and the like. That's not fake - I have done all those things and read all those books and been to all those places.

But I don't write about how friendships with people I used to really care about are falling apart. That my BMI is veering towards the slightly overweight end of the average bar. That I have problems with my big toe and every step today was agony. That I can't ever find bras which fit, or that I feel stupid because I'm always so clumsy. I know, everyone has their issues and problems and that's kind of what this is about. We all have things that we're not happy with but the majority of us choose not to display that to the rest of the world. We show each other the good bits because that's what keeps us all happy.

I'm definitely not criticising that, or slating anyone, because I'm guilty of it too. And even if I wasn't, there's nothing shameful about not sharing everything with everyone. We show everyone the life we want to see, and that's fine. That really is absolutely fine.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Accidental Camden

Today, my friend Will and I decided to pop up to Camden as we realised we'd never had a day out with just the two of us! We also have lots of friends with birthdays coming up so we thought we could treat it as a little present-shopping-expedition. Both of us finished our classes at 10.30am today so we were in Camden before lunch time and hit up McDonald's there with my employee discount. Two Big Tasties later, we were stuffed and the shopping commenced.


We first went to a place called Rokit which sells "vintage" clothes for ridiculous amounts of money. Basically, it's an overpriced charity shop and we found nothing that was worth buying. We also looked around Camden Market - take a look there if you're after clothes - but we didn't buy anything until we reached Camden Lock Village Market. I picked up a few bits and pieces for some of my friends there (it's great for jewellery and little knick knacks) but was distraught to see that my favourite Deep Fried Oreos stall was shut. So distressing.


I got really happy when we went into Camden Lock because there are hundreds of little stalls and shops there and it's like a maze. We walked around for a good hour trying all the free fried chicken samples and madly inhaling incense. 


At my absolute favourite little shop there (it's the Indian themed one by the statue of the horses, if any of you know the one I mean!) I picked up three really cute cushion covers (the orange one isn't for me, sadly) and some secret birthday presents for my best friend which I obviously can't be posting photos of here for her to see!

Afterwards, we went to a place to which I've never actually been - The Stables Market. I didn't realise quite how huge it was and I found it hard to believe I'd never stumbled across it before. We found this fabulous little shop where I bought a couple of really cute pocket mirrors and something I've (perhaps weirdly) been lusting after forever... a paisley scarf! I also bought a couple of birthday presents for Jess here; Jess, I hope you like them!


We also visited Black Gull Books. I'm telling you now, it's the best bookshop in the world. I know I'm managing to squeeze an awful lot of superlatives into this post but it really is an amazing place. There are thousands and thousands of books in there, stacked from floor to ceiling. They're all second hand but 95% of them are in fabulous condition and it just makes them a lot cheaper.. bonus! It's become a bit of a tradition for me that every time I go to Camden, I have to get a book from there. I really am Black Gull Books' biggest fan.

This time, I bought Ali Smith's The Accidental because I fell in love with the cover (I'm such a sucker for packaging) and I did the page-123-test. Basically, if you want to buy a book, you turn to page 123 and see if you like the author's style of writing, and see if what you read makes you want to read on and find out more. If it does, buy it. If it doesn't, chances are you won't like it. I'm so excited to start this book.

Finally, just before we popped on our tube back home, we took a little walk down some roads we hadn't been on before. We happened upon St. Michael's Church which is a very sweet little church tucked away behind some shops. It's honestly the most unlikely place for a church! We went in, lit some candles and had a little prayer, and then went out and sat in the church gardens for a bit. There are some really lovely mosaics there and it felt so peaceful.


I had such a fabulous day and I actually can't wait to get back to Camden when there's new stock in all the stalls and new places to discover. It's by far my favourite place in London. What's yours?

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Mapping it out

I stumbled across this watch on eBay a few weeks ago and I fell in love with it because I'm absolutely obsessed with anything map printed and also happen to not own a watch. But the thing that really sold it to me? The price: £1.64 with free shipping from China!!!!!!!! How incredible is that? I think a bit of wee escaped me in my excitement.

It arrived on Tuesday and - well, I'm not going to lie to you - it's not perfect. Sometimes the second hand starts going round in an anticlockwise direction, and sometimes the hands just stop moving all together. It's 100% plastic and looks horrendously cheap when you get close enough. But for under two pounds, what do you expect? I think it's so cute and (as tacky as it may look close up) makes an outfit look pretty chic.

Do you guys wear watches? What do they look like?

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Nailed it!

2014 Blogger Challenge - post 5

Nailed it!

Nail polish

Nail care

Beauty product

I tend not to write about nails much but I do love looking at pretty patterns and polishes and colours (and crying because mine don't look as good) so I decided to just do a Polyvore set of my favourite looks for nails. I can't paint my nails because of my job so I'm living my dream nails through these photos. Those rainbow ones though!!!!