Christmas in Leicester Square (and the best booth of all time)

leicester square christmas market.jpg

No doubt you've been to Carnaby Street or Oxford Street at Christmas time, but there's a new London area in the running. Leicester Square is rolling up its sleeves, and getting ready to show the world it means business at Christmas. As a born and bred Londonder, I'm no stranger to the area. I've attended a premier there ---> Me and Ryan Gosling, I've worked backstage at the Leicester Square Theatre (even meeting Kylie and Will Young there!) and of course it's right near China Town and Covent Garden. However, it isn't generally on my go-to list, despite being about 20 mins on the tube from me. Time to see what I'm missing out on!?

I was invited to explore Leicester Square with Heart of London Business Alliance, to see what is happening there for the festive season. 

christmas at leicester square.jpg

We started somewhere else I'd been before - The Criterion Theatre. 7 years ago I helped with a vintage party at the 39 Steps, so it was wonderful to get the chance to actually stand on the stage this time!  Next on our whistle-stop tour was a place I hadn't actually visited before; M&M world. I have to say, the smell hits you when you walk in. It almost throttles you its so strong. I'm guessing its a bit like marmite, you either love it and salivate at the mere whiff of chocolate or you just don't. Rather excitingly, they've got a new machine that prints your own face onto your M&Ms which I almost got to do, but we ran out of time. Booooo. But definitelty a really quirky gift idea worth exploring. Can you imagine the joy of giving something the gift of M&Ms with your own cheeky face on?

leicester square christmas.jpg

It got a bit boozey from here, hitting the Japan Centre for sake sampling, and a hot toddy at the Hampshire Hotel. I hadn't realised that Leicester Square hosted a Christmas market, but they do, and it perfectly quaint. Stalls of gifts, bars with mulled wine, santa's grotto and a cabaret tent. Who knew!?

tattoo print sofa

I hate to seem un-festive, but my favourite thing of all was the booth vinyl at the W hotel bar. I mean, look at this print. It was exclusively designed for the W by Frith Street Tattoo, which is a Soho tattoo shop who have tattooed me many times. LOVE. May have to return just to experience the booth all over again.

I was lucky enough to win the raffle too, so watch this space for my visit to the Steakhouse at the Hippodrome (I've already checked and yes they have vegetarian options!). Perhaps a trip to get my face on an M&M, followed by a drink at the W hotel, ending with a swanky dinner at the casino. I'm already looking forward to it!

How long do Directions hair colours last? Are they permanent?

are la riche directions permanent

We love making hair colourful. We take inspiration from rainbows. mermaid, and unicorns to create fabulous hair. We tend to use La Riche Directions for these fun colours, although we do sometimes use L'Oreal, Crazy Colour and Adore to get the exact shades we want. The question we get asked the most is, "How long do these rainbow colours last?".

La Riche themselves do not specify the length of time their colours last, so I promise we're not being purposefullly shady when we say that "it just depends and isn't predictable".

do directions colours last

The colours are officially a semi-permanent, but this doesn't mean it will definitely just fade out of your hair, as if they were never there. The inner core of the hair shaft can become stained, and you may find your hair just won't shift the final residue from that time you went bright green. Some colours fade better than others, so definitely ask us if you're not sure!

rainbow hair london

The colours fade with washing, so washing as little as possible is key. Aim for about once a week to start with. They also get stripped with certain shampoos, sulphates are a particular offender, however salon-quality shampoos do tend to generally offer more protection than cheap ones. Anti-dandruff shampoos are what we suggest if you're trying to strip your own colour, so definitely stay clear if you're trying to protect yours!

If you have an all over colour, you can easily add some of your Directions to your conditioner, and give yourself a weekly colour refresh, without too much faff. They don't damage your hair, so feel free to top up as much as you like at home!

What to wear to a toga party when you don't want to wear a toga

I'm off to a drum and bass rave next week. I haven't been to a rave in a long time, but I am a garage girl at heart, so I do like a good dance. This isn't a normal drum and bass rave though, I mean I'm almost a bit old for them now. In theory age shouldn't matter, but being surrounded by very excitable 18 year olds is a bit annoying now I'm in my mid-thirties. But this rave is a family rave. Oh yes, a Sunday afternoon baby-friendly drum and bass rave.

Big Fish Little Fish put on family raves around the country, designed with music for the adults (no chart music or child-centred music) and activities for the children. It's aimed at children from 0-8 years old, but everyone is welcome. They have different fancy dress themes, but my ticketed event is toga themed!

I have never been to a toga party, but I instantly knew I didn't want to wear a literal toga. I was lucky enough to have Mad World Fancy Dress in Old Street invite me to their store to borrow an appropriate outfit. Having never visited a fancy dress store before, I leapt at the chance to review my experience!

My cousin tried on some dresses from the Romans and Ancient Greek rail, and decided on the the toga dress, with a wig and headdress that we didn't photograph. I, on the other hand, got intrigued by the men's rail. Oh yes...much more like it!

I started off in a Pythagoras red and turquoise gown, but got distracted by the leather armour options. The first one was too large and bulky for me, but I knew I was on the right track! The silver armour with feather-crusted helmet gave me the 'Goldilocks' moment; It was just right!

Maybe no one else will really dress up, or maybe we've completely gone way too extra, but even just trying all the outfits on, we had a blast. I'm excited to get drum and bass raving while dressed as the Greek God Cronus. Watch this space!

Our costumes were provided free of charge, but as always, my reviews are all my own words.

Breaking up sometimes follows you around for a bit - and that's okay

reeree rockette blogger 2017

I'm mad but not at him. Actually maybe a bit at him. I don't blame him though. But I'm mad at him. Yeah, that's it. I'm also a bit mad at myself. I don't blame myself either though. Life is messy. Life isn't predictable. I don't want him back, now that I understand he can't be who I'd hoped he'd be. But I want 'it', I want 'it' back. Despite missing him as a person, I don't want to be friends. All of these feelings are okay. They don't mean I'm not over him. They don't mean I'm not ready for my next chapter. They just mean that this chapter stung. And all of that is ok.

I'm living my life. But change takes time sometimes. Keep moving forward. Enjoy all the things you couldn't. 

I'm looking forward to the Christmas season to be over though. It feels weird, where my life was and where it is now. I think I'll feel lonely remembering it.  But I'm all signed up to volunteer and got plans with my it'll all be golden right?

Why I still love my Diva Cup

I posted a few months ago my Diva Cup Diary, when I first gave a menstrual cup a go.  That was 5 months ago, so I figured I'd post an update! I've become a bit of a menstrual cup warrior, and I'm not ashamed to enthusiastically tell every new woman I meet that they should try one!

This isn't a sponsored post, but as I've only used the Diva Cup, this post uses their images, and talks about their cup. However, there are alternatives out there.

My Diva Cup has changed how I feel about my period. It's made it less messy, less inconvient and cheaper. They're better for the environment, for your wallet and for me, they've changed my feelings about periods too, so better for your mental wellbeing too!

When I bring up my new love of all things Diva Cup, I'm often met with the same questions so I thought I'd answer some here.

"Isn't it gross?" I honestly find the cup less gross than a tampon or pad. You're no longer dealing with stale blood. Fresh blood just feels less gross somehow. All the blood stays inside you, until you're emptying it. It doesn't go over my hands or anything, but if it did, I wouldn't care. That happens anyway with periods.

"What if you're not near a sink?" I change mine once in the morning and once in the evening. It's bliss. It's like I forget I'm on a period now I don't need to change a tampon or pad every 4 hours. So generally I'm always near a sink, as I'm at home. However it is possible to empty it without a sink. You could use a bottle of water over the loo, or you can even just wipe it with toilet paper or a wet wipe, until you're near a sink. 

"Doesn't it leak?" I've only leaked once, on my very first week of giving the cup ago. You can run your finger around the cup once its in you, and you can feel if it's popped open. It's then got a seal. I guess if you have a very heavy flow, it could over flow, but I guess you'd figure this out in one or two goes. Apparently the average woman loses 30-60ml of blood per cycle. The cup holds 30ml, so it shouldn't overflow for most people. 

"What if it gets stuck?" Firstly, don't panic. There isn't a TSS risk like with tampons, so feel free to relax for 30 mins and come back to it. Sometimes it does go higher up, but it will come back down! Relax, and push as if you're going for a poo. After a while, this fear completely disappears, as you get used to it.

"How do you get it up there?" Our vaginas are pretty stretchy, and the cups are soft. There are different ways to fold it, so give the different folds a go. There are tons of useful videos on the internet to help you figure it out! I love Precious Star Pads on youtube.

I love that I can put it in just before a period, if I know I'm due, or have a special occasion I'd hate to have the stress of a surprise start. I love that I can sleep naked during my periods again. I love that I don't need to spend more money on disposables. I love that I only have to deal with my period in the morning and the night time. I love that I don't need to take anything in my bag when I'm out and about. Basically.....thanks Diva Cup, I love you.

A bralette for plus sized boobs? (Ft. Tutti Rouge)

bralette for plus size boobs

I've written a lot recently about how my body has become larger, and how I'm dealing with my mixed feelings about it. In more practical ways, the challenges have been that most of clothes don't fit. That includes bras. All of my my lovely bras are now too small, and it's all rather depressing. My boobs have always been large, and so when I gain weight, they've balloon again. I'm currently in about 32FF (in Freya) but don't fit into my favourite 34DD from La Senza. 

The current trend for pretty bralettes has therefore passed me by. I presumed I couldn't wear a bralette, how on earth could these bad boys be contained by some pretty lace??

Well, Tutti Rouge heard my sobs, and were convinced they could show me a bralette that would work for me. They sent me a bralette in size M/1 (it goes up to XXXL). I was hesident at first, nervous that I'd be stuck holding my boobs up going down stairs, or be left with an aching chest by the end of the evening....but by works. 

I've been wearing it tons, and it really has converted me to the idea that I don't always need underwire, and gosh I haven't bought a non-wired bra that wasn't for sports since I was about 12. I'll definitely be buying some more.

Vintage Wedding Hair at Rockalily Cuts

Rockalily Cuts gets asked to do vintage wedding hair regularly, but as we do not offer services on location, we often have to say no. We're lucky enough that some clients choose to visit the salon for their hair, enroute to their wedding, like the gorgeous bride Victoria (photographer was Donnie Sunshine), but we do often end up referring enquires onto mobile hair & make-up artists who travel to weddings.

I thought I'd make a list of people you may want to try, if you're looking for a hairstylist for your wedding.

miss honey bare 2017

Miss Honey Bare - Always my first call for referrals, as I know she's reliable, talented and lovely to be around. She knows what she's doing. If I'm going to offer a referral I like to know who I'm referring them too. She's obviously pretty fully booked, so get in there quick, she's only one person, and can only do so many weddings! She's particularly in demand for those who have more quirky weddings.

claire lousia white bridal

Clare Luisa White - Another stylist I've worked with personally, and more than happy to recommend for more traditional vintage inspired weddings.

Natasha Hall - I haven't worked with Natasha directly, but I have always respected her work, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend her for your wedding.

Sarah Winstone - Based in Chippenham, Sarah travels for weddings. I haven't worked with her, but she seems to know what she's doing. Again, probably great if you're a quirky or alternative bride!

Rebecca Herniman - Again, I haven't worked with Rebecca, but she's worked at vintage events, and her vintage portfolio looks solid. Worth checking out.

Pretty Pout - Again, I've not worked directly but Nicky did the wedding of an old client, who looked brilliant on her wedding day. Based in Sussex.