Everything happens for a reason, right?

“Everything happens for a reason” is one of the most overused phrases in the universe, I’m quite sure. 90% of the people that use it are women, 91% of them are saying it to one of their friends about a guy who has just screwed them over. And 99% of the time it’s being said over a bottle of sauvignon blanc. Am I right? Or am I right?

Yes, I know that’s a huge generalisation, but you get my point. I am kind of contradicting myself as in another one of my blog posts I did write that I believe everything happens for a reason. And I do still sort of agree with my statement. But why does it always seem to be women saying it to each other? The more I experience relationships whether they be my own or through friends or through earwigging females discussing their love lives, the more I realise there is a pattern emerging. So, do we just tell our friends things happen for a reason to make them feel better?  Does it actually make us feel better about ourselves? Do we actually believe what we’re saying?  Personally, I do think things have to fall apart or grow in order for you to see the light, whether it be good or bad. You can’t experience the good without the bad, so it’s the same sort of principle isn’t it? It does make me feel better about myself and usually my rejection by taking solace in the fact that better things are ahead, surely. But it doesn’t take away the what’s wrong with me? I have an excellent personality, why wouldn’t you want to be with me?, mind set.

Just last weekend I was sat in Bills waiting for one of my best friends to arrive for our brunch date, when I was listening to a group of girls discussing last week’s drama. James hadn’t called or messaged Emily back, but had been online on whatsapp and Facebook. Emily was clearly very upset at the fact he hadn’t contacted her. However, as one of her friends said, maybe he’s been busy, maybe he forgot he hadn’t replied, or maybe he’s just not into you? Her other friend came in with the classic line of – maybe it’s just not meant to be!?  I smiled to myself and had severe déjà vu, why are women so bad a letting go, but men seem to slip out the back door without even saying goodbye? Things aren’t meant to last forever, so maybe we invented this way of looking at life to help us let go of things, even if we’re not ready to let go. This notion doesn’t just apply to our love lives but also job opportunities and waiting to buy a top in the Zara sale; if it’s meant to be that blouse will still be there.

As my home girl, Carrie Bradshaw said – “Eventually all the pieces fall into place, until then laugh at the confusion, live for the moment me know everything happens for a reason.” 

So next time you feel rejected or disappointed about an outcome, remember you are the prize and everything is a lesson. In the meantime, pour yourself a large Hendrix and tonic and call your girlfriends to arrange a dinner date to mill over the situation.

On another note, I’ve finished university! I cannot believe it. The longest, yet shortest three years of my life. My dissertation goes in next week and then I’m officially a free woman, bar one assignment in for the end of May. On to the next chapter, I wonder what’s in store…

I hope you’re well and have been enjoying the glorious springtime sunshine. I love springtime!

Take care,

B x

 

 

 

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When in Florence…

When I think of romance, I immediately think of Italy. Narrow streets, couples riding Vespas, plant pots on Juliett balconies, sharing ice creams and cigarettes, the sweet smell of garlic lingering on your breath after a bowl of out of this world spaghetti and red wine stained kisses. And my bloody God, Florence was romantic. However, I went to Florence for a long weekend to visit one of my closest friends who is living out there at the moment. So, romance for me – not so much.

I arrived into Pisa and got a bus to Santa Maria Novella station. On arriving into Florence over one of the city’s bridges, whilst observing the picturesque scenery that greeted me, I knew, yes this place is for me! It looks like one big film set. I half expected it to all fall down, revealing a backstage crew. As the bus pulled up I grabbed my little suitcase and met my friend and her flatmate. We chatted away, bearly coming up for air, you know what women are like. Hens on speed! The street was filled with people, not to mention the sea of football shirts, the Tottenham match was on that evening. Florence is like nearly all cities, multicultural. I love listening to the mixture of accents; American, German, English and of course Italian all within me having walked about 500metres, a mishmash of culture.

After arriving at the stunning apartment, which has perfect rooftop views. I had an obligatory glass of red wine, unpacked and we headed to a well-known family run restaurant. My friend goes to the British Institute there so 10 of her friends joined us, all from across the world. The restaurant was particularly deceiving, it looked tiny from the outside but it seemed never ending inside. The atmosphere was electric and the food was what Italian food is all about. Not to mention the price, honestly, cheap as chips!!

The following day, while nursing a tender head, the girls showed me some of the places to go to in Florence. The famous squares, Piazza della Signoria and Piazza del Duomo, which were stunning. We then rewarded ourselves with the best ice cream I’ve ever had (and I’ve had a lot) at Gelateria Venchi, which is one of the most famous ice cream parlours in the city. If you go have the nougat ice cream! To die for. Afterwards we went to the Museo Nazionale del Bargello. You won’t run out of things to see here, but it’s not a renaissance overload, a really good collection of sculptures, armoury and paintings. It gives you a real sense of Florence’s history. As the sun was beginning to set we trekked up to the highest point in Florence, Piazzale Michaelangelo. Breathtaking and accompanied with a man singing love songs with his guitar. What’s not to love? Take a little picnic and bottle of champagne, you’d gain some serious brownie points!

That night we went to one of the more fancy restaurants in Florence, but I’ve completely forgotten the name. Shame on me. We had a delicious meal and wine to match, the atmosphere again was great and was filled with people from all over the world. I think we were the last people to actually leave the restaurant, that’s how good it was. As our food was going down we walked across the city to meet everyone else at the Westin Excelsior Hotel, which is situated right on the river and has a glass rooftop bar that overlooks the city. The decor was typically Italian, marble floors, deep red cushioned seats, golden sculptures and the friendliest staff. Again, the views were breathtaking.

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I had a brilliant weekend. I wish I had been able to stay longer but the reality of university started to encroach. Oh the guilt! I can’t recommend Florence enough. If it’s not on your to-do list then it should be. It’s an inexpensive city, you can even walk from one end to the other, no taxis required. The food and wine are, well, I think you know how I feel about them. Again, not expensive, even the cheap wines are good. Unlike in England where a cheap, house wine tastes like malt vinegar. Not to mention the horrendous hangover it gives you the next day. No thanks. There is so much to see and do that you won’t get bored after a long weekend. The only downside is the carbs, I’ve definitely come home a stone heavier, but when in Florence….

Have you guys been to Florence before? Where’s your favourite place in Italy?

Take care,

B x

This is a different kind of goodbye…

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2015 has already been, well, I’ve been sat here for a good five minutes trying to think of a word to use and all I can come up with is unpredictable.

There has been tears, tantrums and so much laughter all within a short space of time. The biggest bombshell was saying goodbye to someone who has been such a large part of my life for a long time. As you get older I think goodbyes become more difficult and more common. This goodbye was even more emotional than I expected as there was and is so much history, so much emotion, so many unresolved issues, which is a large part of the reason why I wanted to go. I needed and wanted to say my last few thoughts and feelings on our colourful past together. That is the thing with saying goodbye, people have the permission to grow into their own skin without you, which is a very strange feeling. It makes you want to scream, “No, you can’t carry on without me, please! Don’t go!” But as we know, that’s incredibly selfish. You can’t keep people, they’re not collectables.

Why is it goodbyes seem so romantic and glamorous on the television? One of you won’t be able to let the other one go, so you’ll go to the airport, bunch of flowers in hand, running through the departure gates then you’ll catch each other’s eyes. Burst into tears, embrace and live happily ever after. A Ross and Rachel type scenario. Hmmm, yeah. Likely.

Then the questions popped into my head, can you forgive someone for all the past events that happened if you can’t forget? Can you forgive them
even when they’re leaving? If you were to ask me this a year, a month ago even, I wouldn’t have let you finish the sentence without biting your arm off with a loud and forceful, NO. However, I have now changed my mind. Sometimes it’s the closure you need, for the both of you.

Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate, not that I’m even 100% sure that I believe in fate, but you get the idea. If we never veered or challenged our path, we may not fall in love again, have children or even be who we are today, or in the future. I do believe everything happens for a reason, so yes, maybe that is fate? Seasons change, so do cities, so do your memories. People come into your life and some people leave. But I take great comfort in the fact that the ones you love or loved will always leave a mark on your heart; and you will leave a mark on them too. If you’re lucky these loved ones are only a plane ride, text message, Skype, or telephone call away. And if they’re not, there’s usually a good reason for it. Life is a series of letting going moments. You have to start somewhere.

Goodbyes don’t have to mean forever. But that is down to you two.

I still hate goodbyes.

Have you ever had a horrible goodbye? Who were they with?

Take care,

B x

It’s that time of the year again!

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2014 has been one of the most interesting, stressful and exciting years so far. It’s taught me a lot, some good, some bad. But I thought I’d share with you guys what I’ve learnt.

1. You can’t plan your future, it’s really not that simple. No matter how much you try to create a schedule or time frame, life doesn’t work that way. ‘Next summer I’m going to go to W with X, while still being best friends with Y, oh and I’m going to get a job at Z.’ Everyone is hopeful and don’t get me wrong I’d love nothing more than to have a plan that I can stick to. However, 2014 has made me realise life goes on, yes something may not be what you necessarily wanted. But it has encouraged me to think on my feet and be excited for the future, because I know it’s going to be great. Whatever happens.

2. Make peace with the past. If you don’t it’ll be like an anchor and just bring you down. Don’t let it disturb your present or your future. Time is the best healer, honestly.

3. Friends come and go. But it is the people that are there for you day in and day out that are going to be there long term. Make sure you appreciate them, tell them you love them, thank them, there are thousands of ways to tell and show someone you love them.

4. Being a best friend is one of the most wonderful things in the world. I don’t think that needs anymore explanation.

5. Being an aunty is SO underrated. I love my family, as dysfunctional as they are, I wouldn’t change them for the world.

6. I love travelling and need to do more of it. New York was dreamy, it has spurred on my love of cities.

7. Write a journal, or carry around a notebook. I have one in my bag at all times, if I hear a funny quote or a see a restaurant I want to visit at a later date I write it all down. It’s a nice memo if nothing else.

8. Indulge. Maybe I do this a little too much with clothes and shoes, but you earned it!

9. One text goes a long way. Whether it’s rekindling a relationship, friendship or telling someone you’re there for them. It makes a big difference.

10. Don’t waste time reading rubbish books just to say you’ve read it.

I wish you all a very happy New Year, and I hope you bring in 2015 as you mean to go on. Are you doing anything special?

Take care,

B x

The City That Never Sleeps!

I can say hand on heart, I had the best 21st birthday EVER! I was showered with the most amazing and thoughtful presents. It’s so lovely when people get you something that sums you up, shows you they really care and know you. Whether it’s a present that costs £2 or £2,000. The thought really does count.

Saying that, I was lucky enough to go to New York the weekend after my birthday with my mummy. My family arranged it as a surprise and I had a wonderful time. It was everything I imagined and more, there is something magical about New York. So, I’m relocating… I wish.

We went and did some of the touristy things like; went on a pony and trap ride around Central Park, visiting 5th Avenue and all the big department stores, Marcy’s, Barneys and Bloomingdale’s, rooftop drinks, and going to Times Square. But I think my favourite part of the trip was going to the 9/11 memorial and museum. It was breathtaking and really inspirational, sometimes I think we lose faith in humanity as the news seems to surround us with such negatives events happening all around the world. Even though the memorial was filled with so much sadness, it was also great example of how many good people there are in the world.

Our hotel, The Viceroy, was in such a good location, between 6th and 7th Avenue so near the fancy shops on 5th, but also only three streets in from Central Park. The Viceroy also won best rooftop bar in the city, so you can imagine the views. The food was delicious, Kingside is the place to be, 1920s diner feel to it. Not to mentioned we saw James Nesbitt!! The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the portion sizes, but that’s America for you. Long story short, what I’m basically saying is, stay at The Viceroy if you venture to New York and you WON’T regret it, I promise. Not to mention the dishy Concierge!

These are my top five things to do in New York…

1. Visit Time Square, even though I do think Piccadilly is better, it’s worth a look just to see the lights and feel the hustle and bustle of the city. I was like a moth to a flame.

2. Central Park, you’re able to see where so many movies were filmed and enjoy a walk around the man made park.

3. Go to a rooftop bar, the views are picture perfect.

4. Magnolia Bakery, need I say more? (I am the BIGGEST Sex and the City fan)

5. Go do something cultural that only New York has to offer, whether it’s visiting the Met, 9/11 memorial, the Brooklyn Bridge etc.

I really can’t wait to go back! I miss it already. Oh and their bars stay open until 4am, what’s not to love?

Take care,

B x

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Sugar & Spice & All Things Nice!

I always re-read my previous post before writing my new post. I like to think what was happening in my life when I wrote it, where I wrote it, what time of the day etc. and gosh, SO much has changed since my last post. I love that about life, one minute something is so important to you, the next you can barely remember what you were fretting about. However, bittersweet that may be.

Firstly, I’m an Auntie to a beautiful bundle of glitter and fairy dust. She is perfect and delicious, all I want to do is maul her face with kisses all day long. Although, she is the biggest time waster and I photograph her like she’s going out of fashion. Yes, I’m turning into one of those annoying people who wants to show everyone and anyone how cute my niece is. The storage on my phone is running out swiftly! But she’s so worth it. Honestly.

Secondly, I’m back at university for my last, first semester. My dissertation is in full swing and third year is incredible stressful already, but this is what I expected.

There have been so many things over the past two months that I’ve been meaning to blog, from dinners at yummy restaurants such as, The Wolseley, The Caviar House, Benito’s Hat and so on, to my weekend at LFW with my best friend seeing KTZ! I’ve been a rubbish blogger and promise to get better. Starting with my review of Gone Girl, which I’m aiming to finish by Friday as I’m desperate to see the film. Have any of you seen it or read the book? I’ve heard the film is meant to be fantastic.

I hope you’re all well and enjoyed the end of the summer. All those starting their dissertation, good luck! All those who have finished their dissertation or didn’t do one, I’m green with envy.

Take care,
B x

Don’t Search So Hard For Happiness…

On this rainy and dare I say, wintery bank holiday Monday, I have been thinking about rather morbid and mundane things. Dark I know! With the recent deaths of Lord Richard Attenborough and Robin Williams RIP, which I am so unbelievably sad about. Alongside reading my Zen Life book, I have been assessing my own life.

I always used to think that I’d live a short life. I could never imagine myself as a little old lady with silver hair and a companion in the shape of a small dog, I could barely imagine my wedding day, or the colour of my children’s hair. I think this is the main reason I thought I wouldn’t live to be a ripe old age, I’m not very good at envisioning my future. Or if I attempt to, I get into a blind panic as I mentioned in my previous post. I worry who will still be in my life, or who will be a distant memory of milestones in my life. People aren’t things, you can’t own or keep them. But then I remind myself, life is messy, it’s not meant to run smoothly that’s part of the thrill and excitement. Happiness is what matters and if you find it, hold onto it. It is rarely big, bold and boisterous. It is found in sunsets, kisses, bare feet and freckles on your nose. Laughable, but very true.

I know some of this is a pessimistic view on life, but I think death does that to people, makes you evaluate your own life. Your own wants and desires. But then again, you’re still human, we are all afraid of the unknown. So, in light of all this, I’ve compiled a bucket list. Thinks I hope to do before the age of 30, for those of you who know me, yes, I do have a complex about turning 30! Don’t ask me why! So, here goes…

1. Learn a language, so I can cope with having a conversation
2. Go to nearly every capital city in Europe
3. Stay in the Ice Hotel in Sweden
4. Get through all the films in ‘film club’
5. Go on a protest march for something I am passionate about
6. Get my motorbike license
7. Go to Ibiza on a mad holiday with all my closest friends
8. Go to Glastonbury
9. Hot air-balloon over somewhere beautiful
10. Visit Las Vegas and Los Angeles, more of America basically

Life is all about choosing, choose the things that matter, with the people that matter, because when it comes down to it. All you’ll be left with is the memories.

As an RIP to both the men that have recently died, my family and I are going to watch Mrs Doubtfire (one of my favourite films, ever) tonight and Gandhi another evening this week. Two extremely talented men!

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Hope you’re having a lovely bank holiday, definitely a duvet day!

Take care,
B x