Girl Power-Walk

Living just outside the city centre I’m in the privileged position of being at the top of a nice, big hill (anyone who knows Sheffield will tell you that it is basically a collection of steep, blustery slopes winding out from a slightly less windy centre). This means that my two-mile ‘commute’ to work is actually a pleasantly invigorating jaunt during which I catch-up on the previous night’s episode of ‘The Archers’ and stop halfway for a skinny vanilla latte. The walk home, though, is a different kettle of fish. Quite literally an upward struggle, it is a hike which requires both mental and physical preparation.

Now, I can’t say that I have a routine of calf and hamstring stretches, but I do plug myself in to a specially created girl-power-walk-playlist which takes me from a gentle warm up to full on hike (the ‘cool-down’ is a cup of tea when I get in). Here are some of the tunes that help me push on towards the summit:

Goldfrapp, ‘Ooh La La’

Gets me up to a good pace, this one. Hopefully no one notices me mouthing ‘ooh lalalalalala’ as I march up Division Street.

Haim, ‘The Wire’

Stride on every beat while I try to resist clapping along.

Taylor Swift, ‘I New You Were Trouble’

Cheesy, but helps me power on while I imagine I’m angry at Harry Styles.

Beyoncé, ‘Who Run the World’

Because, ya know, I run the world and that.

Laura Marling, ‘Darkness Descends’

A calmer tune (with a deceptively energetic chorus) to tamper the feminist rage as I turn onto my street and prepare to greet the boyfriend.


Can anyone suggest any other girl-power tunes that might help my ascent?




Food for Thought: The Salad

I won’t lie, this morning I ate two Tunnock’s caramel wafers and a handful of Maryland cookies for breakfast. Needless to say by the time it came to lunch I thought I aught to have something a bit healthier – you know, get my greens in and that. My solution was a massive rocket and quinoa salad, bejewelled with carrot, yellow peppers and cucumber and finished off with a huge dollop of humous. It tasted as good as it looks and I can already feel my cellulite dissolving…


I’m quite full but I’m always up for healthy dessert suggestions if anyone has any?

Obsessions and Recessions: The Cream Blush

For ages I refused to scrimp on makeup that touched my actual skin (spending my student loan on Elizabeth Arden and Clinique seemed bizarrely sensible at the time), but I’ve come to really appreciate the cheap and cheerful products which litter those aisles where no white smocked lady dares to tread.

Bourjois Cream Blush is one such product. I know it’s not new – Ruth Crilly reviewed it last June – but it’s new to me and something’s always new to someone, right?  Before this, I never really got on with cream blushes. They felt too greasy and somehow managed to either evaporate into the air or soak into my pores, leaving me looking as pale and sullen as I did before rouging-up. My previous attempt was Illamasqua’s cream blusher which, though highly pigmented, has a kind of shiny translucency I’m just not a fan of. I’m not looking for coverage from my blusher, but neither do I want a shiny stained-glass window that, for all it’s vibrancy, reveals the unevenly pigmented skin beneath. The Bourjois cream blush is different. Being of the ‘cream to powder’ variety it ends up looking like the beautiful lovechild of a dewy cream and a finely milled powder. Just lightly pat on to create a subtle, even flush and layer up if you wanna look all hot under the collar (in a sexy way, obvs).

Photo as promised…


Obsessions and Recessions: The Handbag

‘I’m not a rich girl’.

That’s a statement I make based on the fact that I can’t *yet* afford a Mulberry handbag, and the fact that I probably never will be able to afford a Chanel clutch. When I waltz past boutique windows my mood soars and swoops in a kind of cruel arabesque: first, I see the new Del Rey and I’m like ‘oooh look how pretty…’ and, then, I catch the reflection of my tattered old Fiorelli and I’m all sad and smug at the same time. Thing is, to me a £60 bag that I got for £54 (thank you, student discount) is both reassuringly expensive and a bloody good steal. It might not be the pristine, off white-rose, goatskin specimin sitting pretty on the other side of the glass, but it is a thing of style and substance. Tan leather with a few character-building scratches and a gold medallion zip, my Fiorelli runs rings around the dainty Del Rey: it goes with winter boots and summer sandles, jodpurs, jeans, and maxi dresses. What’s more, I’m not frightened of it. Give me a posh bag and it’ll either stay in its protection pouch or get ruined on a dog walk; give me a sturdy, mid-price satchel and I’ll chuck it on the grass and wipe it down with some Cif and a sponge.

I’m not a rich girl. Even if I was, I probably still couldn’t justify spending that much money on what is basically an oversized lipstick pouch. Probably…