Pre-Pride Drinks at No. 32 Duke Street with Yelp Brighton!

Filed under: Brighton, Event, Photos, Reviews

No 32 Duke Street

Whew, that title was a bit of a mouthful!

I am missing Brighton Pride for the third year in a row. Yes, I am three for three. The first year, while I lived in England, I didn’t actually move to Brighton until the weekend after. Last year, my parents were in town so we went to the parade, but not the festival. This year I am in Vancouver. I’m writing this entry while sitting at a Tim Horton’s near the International Arrivals at Vancouver International Airport, in fact.

This year I did do a little something, though. I went along to Yelp’s Pre-Pride Drinks event! It was at No. 32 Duke Street, which is a venue I had walked past hundreds of times (literally, I work across the street on West Street, so I pass it almost daily), but have never been in.

I’m regretting that a bit now, of course, because it was really nice.

No. 32 Duke Street

No. 32 Duke Street

No. 32 Duke Street

No 32 Duke Street

You can, of course, read my review on Yelp, but I couldn’t resist posting some photos here as well. I just think it’s the perfect place to go if you want something fancier than a pub, but with a really good vibe and a bit more of a sense of “occasion,” if that makes sense!

Also if you are local to Brighton, I recommend joining the Brighton Yelp group! Everyone was super lovely and it was a great way to meet new people and just have a really nice evening.

Definitely check out No. 32 Duke Street and HAPPY PRIDE, BRIGHTON! Next year I will be there, I promise.

My Travel Essentials

Filed under: Gluten Free, List, Travel

Being an expat means learning to master the long haul flight. Seeing my family involves planes, trains and automobiles that amount to well over 12 hours of combined travel time. A girl needs to be prepared.

In honour of my cross-world trek on Saturday, I decided to share some of my travel essentials. Yes, in theory all I need is my passport, phone and clean panties, but it’s always nice to have those few extras in life.

My iPod Classic

Travel Essentials

The day my iPod Classic dies I will give up travelling and just never see my friends and family ever again. These things are TANKS and the fact that Apple doesn’t make them anymore almost makes me want to throw away my Macbook Air, iPad Mini and iPhone 5 and use Windows or something. The battery lasts forever and it has LOADS of music. I think its memory is 128GB and even though I have nearly every song I can think of loaded onto this bad boy it’s hardly made a dent. Plus it’s so much fun to hear music I added to it over the years and be able to look back on the different times of my life. So essential.

Gluten Free Snacks

Travel Essentials

If you have coeliac disease, like me, and have been on a long haul flight, you may be familiar with the special meal marked “GFML.” Well, let me tell you, FML is right. Some of the stuff has been okay (as good as can be expected on a plane), but I’ve also been fed gems such as: slimy egg in a cardboard sleeve, and my personal favourite soggy rice cakes with a slice of cheap ham in the middle. I’ve also been stranded in airports where even the salads came in bread bowls (thanks, Rome), and I’ve ended up having Kinder Surprises for dinner.

Obviously, the snacks pictured above wouldn’t be enough to keep me fed properly for the whole flight, but you just never know what might happen, so it’s always good to have something.

A Really Warm Hoody

Travel Essentials

Generally speaking I like to be a little bit colder than the average person. I love a cool breeze and fresh air. I don’t really like jackets and I almost never wear socks in my daily life. So it’s a bit of a shock for me to get on a plane and freeze. I definitely need to bring along a hoody and socks, especially in summer when the clothing I wear when boarding the plane needs to be seasonally appropriate. My favourite warm garment is a really big hoody, because I can pull my arms in and turn myself into a little cocoon while I fruitlessly try to get some sleep.

Packing cubes and pouches

Travel Essentials

I learned about packing cubes from this nifty video by the lovely and perky Ingrid Nilsen. She was called Miss Glamorazzi back then.  Blast from the past!

I have a fear. My fear is that I will be running through an airport, hit a bump and BAM, my suitcase opens and out flies all of my underwear. I mean, they’re nice underwear. But imagine the logistics of having to gather them all! Nobody has that kind of time in an airport. Thankfully this will never happen because, look:

Travel Essentials

You are now looking at my underwear. They’re the lacy things on the bottom right. You’re also looking at about 95% of the clothing I am bringing! I have tops, casual dresses, pyjamas… all of it, conveniently packed in this cube, for maximum organization!

I also really like big pouches. The one in the top photo is from Kenneth Cole Reaction and it’s MASSIVE. It fits all of my toiletries and makeup and full-sized bottles of shower gel (I’m using Zoella’s new one if you’re nosy).

Easy, one-step makeup

Travel Essentials

I might have you guys fooled into believing that I am able to afford first class, and can lounge in a pod as I zip across the Atlantic ocean, my every whim catered to, getting a full-night’s sleep in my bed-chair. But actually, I travel in scum class with everyone else. And nobody who is trying to sleep sitting upright in a chair crammed next to a stranger is going to look pretty 9 hours later. So, I definitely need a little pick me up for the other side, mainly so my family don’t see how ugly I’ve become and refuse to be associated with me.

I love this Kiko Cosmetics Eyetech Look Eyeshadow thing for many reasons. Here are the reasons:

  • it is powder eyeshadow in a stick. The tip is a sponge applicator that is loaded with shadow (the eye shadow lives in the lid), and you just swipe it across your lids. It’s very pigmented.
  • no brushes required, I just blend the edges a bit with my finger.
  • because it is a powder, you don’t need to worry about it at security. It doesn’t need to go in the plastic baggy!
  • the applicator is thin enough that you can easily line the bottom lash line or concentrate it a bit more on the top lash line, for the illusion of proper eyeliner.
  • it costs less than £5 so it’s well within the “budget friendly” realm.
  • in fact, at that price, you may as well buy a shadow colour and a lighter one for some brightening action. I’m going to go get one after work!

Mini samples!

Travel Essentials

Whenever I get these mini sample things, I always think “what is this, skincare for ants?” but I admit they’re very handy for those flights when you want to pretend you’re Lisa Eldridge chilling in first class and turning the whole plane into a spa. Or if you just want to end up on the other end not looking like a scaly monster. Which is my main goal in most things.

And those are all of my essentials! Sure, I could probably use some more entertainment, but actually you might be surprised by the amount of 9 hour flights where I’ve completely ignored my iPad or books in favour of listening to my iPod and daydreaming!

Do you guys have any things you just can’t fly without?

July Behind the Scenes

Filed under: Anxiety, Personal, Photos, Random

Hey everyone, it’s the last Sunday of July! Can you believe it? Where has the year gone? It’s practically Christmas!

Weather-wise, it actually has felt a lot like Christmas in Brighton, lately. Right now an extreme amount of water is pouring from the sky. On Friday I came home from work and got into pyjamas that literally have snowmen on them, and I was perfectly comfortable. So, I’m pretty excited to get to Canada next week, where it will hopefully be a lot warmer and sunnier.

Here’s what I’ve been up to behind the scenes of the last month!



By far my greatest obsession this month has been posting over on Instagram. In June I decided I wanted to put more effort into posting nice photos (R.I.P drunken selfies), and mid-July I got my new camera which basically changed everything. I’ve been a bit of a photo happy fiend. But I really love it, and I think my Instagram is looking pretty fab. Check it out and let me know what you think! (Er, you can also see it, you know, in that massive banner at the top of my website.)

Laura’s Wedding

Laura's Wedding Laura's Wedding Laura's Wedding

My Instagram was also spammed with photos from my friend Laura‘s wedding, which was just… well, I’m sure you can tell from the photos. It was adorable. The ceremony was at the church in the tiny village where she and her husband Jack grew up. Then we walked through the town to her parents’ house for the reception. (Yes, that’s right, her parents’ yard can fit that marquee with loads of room to spare!) When we arrived we were greeted by an ice cream van and then we spent the night having delicious food, drinks and, of course, dancing the night away to the super fun band! Well, I say dancing the night away, when in fact I was in bed by midnight.

Also I wore a fascinator for the first time. Here is a photo of me wearing said fascinator, which I am sure you will find extremely fascinating.


Cognitive behavioral therapy and Anxiety


Getting a little bit personal now! I haven’t talked much about this, but, like many people, I have a Generalized Anxiety Disorder (with a touch of Atypical Depression), so for the last six weeks or so I have been doing CBT sessions on Thursday mornings. I’ve got myself into quite a nice little routine, stopping off at Small Batch Coffee in Seven Dials to have a treat and take some time to read (isn’t Viva Brighton magazine adorable?) before grabbing a bus to my session. It’s really been a great help so far! I won’t go into specifics, but I just wanted to acknowledge it and say that I am feeling positive warm fuzzy feelings toward the whole thing! If you are interested in hearing someone else’s perspective on the whole thing, you could pop over to Bloody Hell Brennan for her take on the Anxiety Goblin.

KIKO Cosmetics Essential Rose & Cherry Perfume

KIKO Cosmetics

A KIKO Cosmetics has just opened in Brighton. Let’s all just take a moment to mourn the loss of my disposable income. I love KIKO. I’ve bought their stuff in London and in Rome and now I can buy it within a five minute walk from my home. (Lol, rhymes.) Along with many sparkly eye products (and an amazing dupe for one of my fave products which I will talk about at some point), I saw a few roller ball perfumes in the sale. They were £5 each. I sniffed all three, and liked two, before deciding to get the Rose & Cherry one. Then I went off to have dinner and I kept sniffing myself happily. Then I went home and drew swirls with it all over my hands so I could smell it all night. Then I woke up the next morning and went to buy another one.

I really love it.

Obviously, it was in the sale, and it’s no longer on their website, so I know our affair cannot last forever. But if you’re near a KIKO and get a chance to smell this bad boy, TAKE IT. It’s a really unique combo and I loooove it.

I really love makeup, but I never write about it on this blog. I also like clothes, and I never write about them. Maybe I will write about these things in the coming months.

But as for August, you should be seeing lots from my trip to Canada! First I will be in Victoria, then Vancouver, and then I’m popping home to Calgary for a few days! So, for August, there will be no schedule (hahaha like I ever stick to my schedule anyway), I will just post things as they happen! Yay!