Welcome to my world of Trying New Things! No matter how big or small, I’ve shared my experiences and inspirations right here. Enjoy my blog, where I hope you find inspiration to try something new!

Change

It has shamefully been ages since I last even looked at my blog let alone written on it. So this makes me think I must be feeling pretty uninspired at the moment! I think there’s a number of reasons for this:

1) I guess I haven’t done much recently to write about that relates to the title of my blog. And that’s also interesting. So this makes me think…

2) the title limits the content of this blog enormously! Sometimes I just want to share general things or basically something’s that’s not new! And so!

3) I think a name change is necessary. Not sure what yet, so difficult because I don’t want my blog to be limited again by my title so it needs to be something general. But to make it broad and catchy? Difficult. And while I’m rebranding the name…

4) I think I need a fresher theme. My blog is a bit dark, slow, and hard to navigate. I need something clean looking, straightforward and pleasing to the eye. I have a feeling I’ve already found it so now it’s just to implement everything and transfer my old posts over.

5) not so related, but I’m basically without a laptop at the moment! My mum’s pretty much stolen mine and it was running slow anyway (so sick of laptops just giving up exactly a year after they’ve been bought! It’s like they know). Need to invest in one to make everything easier perhaps. A materialistic barrier that requires saving up, shite.

6) this is all well and done but the vital part of this blog is not the theme or the ease of writing a post. It’s the actual words I write. The content, the photos, the links etc. I’ve got a few things ready that I’ll share, hopefully the new blog won’t take long to get up and running! (Depending a fair bit on my boyfriend so don’t blame me if it does!)

Speak soon!

City planning!

This is a post purely for the excitement that I’m going to Dublin in a few weeks! I’ve always wanted to go there as it’s where my auntie is from and I’ve heard Dublin is amazing. All the christmas lights will be up and we got a good quality cheapish hotel. Can’t wait! If anyone’s been have you got any suggestions of stuff to do and places to go. Only there for two full days really.

Plus me and my old uni friends may be going to Birmingham in January, any good places to go out at night etc?

The Gym

I finally did what I’ve wanted to do for ages and joined the gym! I started running last April but it was so relative to the weather that I couldn’t be bothered, started getting bored of the same runs etc as well.

So me and my boss started to get curious about joining The Gym (it’s actually just called that). £15.99 a month, no contract, free classes, really big airy space with good equipment and we got in there with a no joining fee promotion! It’s so good and I now I go twice a week and when I can at weekends. There’s one in most cities so if you’re thinking this sounds good then click here. You get your own pin and it’s open 24/7 as well.

So far we’ve also tried Legs Bums and Tums class which nearly killed me off and made any sort of action horrendous, but at least I could feel it! And aerobics which was a bit more fun and a bit less taxing. I thought all gyms were way overpriced and trapped you in a stupid contract but it’s always good when there’s a gym that’s a bit different and really good inside. Hopefully I’ll start seeing a difference soon. Doubt I’m going to be posting a selfie anytime soon though…

It feels good to get exercise though and do something after work so I don’t just go straight home. Although I feel tired today it overall gives me more energy and makes me think of what I’m eating more! Although I doubt I’ll ever give up having a slightly bad diet. Ha!

Bees’ lip balm

I’ve recently tried out a lip balm that my friend is working on at the moment. So far we’re on version 2.0 and I’m enjoying testing them! They come in 3 different flavours at the moment: chocolate orange, peppermint (yum) and my favourite nutmeg. They are made with essential oils, shea butter and the most important ingredient, beeswax! It is rumoured the Queen uses beeswax based lip balms, so if it’s good enough for her, it’s certainly good enough for me. Soft, hydrating and ridiculously long lasting but not sticky in the slightest! So good for such a reasonable price. Watch out for more info when these are ready to go out cause they’re worth it!

20131028-193806.jpg

Eyelash extensions

One of the coolest things I’ve tried in a while for Mum’s wedding is eyelash extensions. Understandably becoming popular they are single eyelashes that are glued to your individual lashes by someone with a bloody sturdy hand and last 6 weeks. 6 WEEKS. It took half an hour to put them on and I have to say the urge to open my eyes made it pretty uncomfortable and my eyes streamed afterwards but they looked insane. And no mascara, haven’t worn it for 4 weeks so far it’s an absolute joy. Would get it on special occasions again without a doubt.

Also in this photo I had my eyebrows shaped and tinted for the first time. No eye pencil. Also so worth it.

Thanks to Mud Honey from the Stamford area for my eyelashes :). At £30 it’s reasonable compared to other people and mobile so she fits around you.

20130923-224200.jpg

Wonder stick

Okay so the title of this post sounds really dodgy and the fact that it grabbed your attention may be the reason I chose it but I promise you it’s not a sexual innuendo :) I’m talking about my long battle to find a primer that actually keeps your base makeup on which has finally ended and I came out victorious! Who else other than Benefit to come to the rescue?! They’ve done it again and persuaded me to spend £24.50 on what I now know was worth every penny. Actually, two primers were purchased because the representative with flawless skin explained that she actually used both.
These are the Benefit Porefessional and Stay Flawless stick. Two fabulous products in their own rights but together they create perfection. The former is a light, soft, half liquid half solid cream applied after moisturiser or even used as a make up topper. It creates the most matte base ever but without drying your face out at all so make up just glides on. As the name suggests, it covers pores and dark areas that all of us seek to get especially when we’re showing signs of tiredness. I’ve used it before and I’ll use it many more times in the future because I am a huge fan of the matte look. Although luckily I don’t suffer from oily skin, it suits every complexion out there. Yum. And your face feels like a baby’s afterwards. AND you don’t need to use much so lasts ages.

The Stay Flawless primer is more like a stick – very moisturising, it has a more dense feel to it and there is no need to rub it in (its so tempting to rub it in). You rub it directly onto your face and immediately apply foundation over it. You can definitely feel this one more but only for a limited period of time, after about 20 minutes it feels normal. Yet for around 8 hours it does exactly what it says it’ll do: you look in the mirror, expect to look worn out, pale and quite frankly shit, but become very pleasantly surprised when you still look even, covered and your BLUSHER IS STILL ON. It is the best feeling when a product actually works! I was amazed. My face let alone my blusher and concealer never stay on for longer than 2 hours and I’m left to whack more make up on my face. But this was awesome, I didn’t have to think about it at all. If your coverage doesn’t stay on too well like mine, buy this product. I think it makes your face feel nice aswell, almost calming effect, and it really does what it says. OK, it says it lasts for 15 hours which is a bit of a stretch but its not magic. Well worth the (lots of) money. My love affair with Benefit I feel is going to be a long one.

So if you’re seeking for a good primer, I’d recommend go quite frankly. But stay flawless has won my vote for its lasting power. Kudos to the Benefit founders!

The Wedding

SO overdue, but I wanted to write about a very very happy occasion on my blog. My mum got married to her partner of 13 years on 29th August 2013 at the George hotel in Stamford with close family and a couple of friends and it was pretty much perfect.

She is loving being called Mrs Franklin!

She looked beautiful, everyone was happy, that’s all I need to say really. I won’t go on and onnn about it.

Plus we have extended our tiny family to Mick’s 4 children, grandchildren, aunties, uncles, etc etc.

They weren’t engaged long, a few months. What’s the wait for! Had beautiful flowers and hair done. Here are a few photos.

Pictures courtesy of Chris Rogers (my sister’s boyfriend)

Getting On

Again, I’ve let things get really bad because I haven’t done anything about the fact that I’m not as happy as I could be. If you recall, I wrote a post a few months ago about the fact that I need to be more proactive and be myself. I haven’t done it as I have consequently now lost the person I love because of it. Even though I said I’d do something for myself and for the people around me. So things can get better.

I could give many reasons and maybe use them as excuses on why I haven’t done it. It may be that I have periods of depression and I’m not proactive as a person. I don’t have any passions. But the fact is I haven’t really tried anything new. Hugely ironic given the blog name! And embarrassing as well.

I now have the funds to try new stuff, I have the capability, I have every weekend off and every weekday. I have a few likes that I haven’t really put into exercise. I’ve been told over and over and over what to do to try and make myself happy. I know deep down that they’re right. And yet I have no burning desire or energy to do it. I come home after work and all I want to do is pretty much nothing. I hate admitting this. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t object to chilling out sometimes when you feel tired and not doing a hell of a lot. But when that’s your life, that in itself becomes depressing.

The first thing I need to focus on is the lack of energy I have. Even when writing this I feel tired and I’ve done hardly anything this weekend (although it has been emotional). Energy foods, more exercise. Worth a shot. I’ll write more as I go on and see how I do including the bad times.

Royal Artis Zoo, Amsterdam

This gallery doesn’t need much introduction. First time ever at a zoo and it was pretty epic. Beautiful day and went to the botanical gardens afterwards.

Museums, Amsterdam

Me  and Joe went to a selection of different museums in the space of 72 ish hours in Amsterdam. Some informational, some artistic. Some grown up, some… not. You can’t miss Amsterdam’s infatuation with erotica though! I got a little taster in the Erotic Museum. We went on the last tour of the night and climbed up 4 sets of stairs to reach 5 levels of pure crazy photographs, ornaments, videos and life-size mostly naked statues. There were even sketches of Yoko Ono giving herself one that John Lennon had drawn himself. It was lovely! Was a right laugh after a few drinks and essential on a visit to Amsterdam.

Van Gogh

The Van Gogh museum was a little more sophisticated. And so interesting. There were about 6 levels that separated the periods of his life into the different stages of his journey. It taught us who he learned techniques and inspiration from, where he developed and why he chose the paintings he did.

My favourite technique is during his earlier life with the huge strokes and thick oil paint. The texture (as you can see from one of the photos) is amazing! There were also pocket books full of sketches including one of the famous ‘Sunflowers’ drawing (also see picture). One of my favourite eras was him painting the peasantry and their value of life. The paintings are so good. But it was awesome seeing two versions of the ‘Sunflowers’. We weren’t allowed to take pictures of the better, more famous one, but it was so good! You could literally see why it was so well known.

Furthermore, the museum offered a bit more than just the paintings themselves (as if that wasn’t enough!). They provided computered microscopes that could examine a tiny fragment of one of Van Gogh’s paintings. You could see sand or dust particles if he had sat on the beach painting, or slight pencil marks, and moreover you could see the amount of paint that he used. So cool!

I learnt a lot and I appreciated the art probably more than I ever have done in a gallery. And it was all part of the city card so we didn’t have to pay a penny on arrival. I’d recommend it to anyone.

Stedelijk Museum

Just down the road from the museum of Van Gogh we decided to venture into the Stedelijk Museum – a modern art gallery. To be honest I didn’t have high hopes but it was free so why not? But actually, again, it was not just an array of paintings that meant absolutely nothing to anyone apart from the painter. I mean, of course that was included, it always is in a modern art gallery, but there was looads of other stuff like novelty bits from the decades in the 20th century. It was nice to see an old apple mac just how I remember them. Joe especially liked the 60′s hifi system, wasn’t the most attractive colour though!

The best thing was probably a model of an American bar in the 1930s I think it was. An artist had recreated a tiny bar complete with the noise of overcrowded drunk punters from a speaker, dirty but good quality liquors behind the bar and an old school juke box. However he had filled everyone’s faces with a clock, signifying time travel or in fact the lack of it. Recreating an old part of American culture was easy when it was like that. It was so cool.

Also in the gallery above, there is a picture of me and Buddha! A clever set up that makes it look like I am in the TV screen with Buddha. That was probably the best modern art gallery I’ve been to as it had the most variety of stuff that actually made sense.

Gassan Diamond Factory

I can’t speak long about this because somehow we missed the damn tour in English! But it was free admission for us and we did get to see literally how a diamond is cut (workers were on display behind their worktops so we could watch). We also saw old tools that jewellers would have worked with years ago and the sort of workshops that jewellery is made. But the best bit? Obviously the finish products. Being a massive fan of diamonds in particular (I blame my mum solely), there was absolutely beautiful stuff on display alongside their colossal price tags. There was especially one sapphire and diamond ring that me and mum would love! One day maybe..

At the end there was loads of stuff on sale to buy but it was slightly out of mine and Joe’s price ranges (!). However, we did receive an exciting free gift of… chocolates. Me and Joe thought it might be slightly more exciting but cannot complain! It was interesting enough.

 

Amsterdam, Netherlands

WELL, apologies for being so absent but I’m returning with a bang…

This post and the two above are all to do with my recent trip to the fabulous Amsterdam! The capital of Holland, the personification of chilled out and filled with beautiful architecture, people and food. It is notorious for its quirky coffee shops selling ‘special’ products (as one coffee shop put it exactly), and is one of the reasons so many people flock to this destination. But there is so much more to it! Famous museums, an epic zoo, diamond factories, cuisines, ice bars, architecture, canals, the amazingly quaint cafes and bars (WHY can’t Britain be a little more like it!) and the people. I have to say I absolutely love it and I’d move there quite happily tomorrow. So chilled out, we had awesome weather, everyone cycles which is just cool and it’s so pretty! Here are a few general snaps of the architecture and various things me and the boyf did:

Wednesday 17th July

After collecting our city card (which it totally worth it by the way, click here to find out more), the first stop was Barneys (a coffee shop with tasty plantage I hear). We basically just walked miles, I bought a bargain of a vintage bag, and saw lots of the river, Damsquare, shops and town.

Our hotel was also top notch – DoubleTree by Hilton a few hundred metres away from the station. Air conditioning, deserted balcony and a free warm cookie!

We ate a mean steak in the evening and ventured out to the Red Light District afterwards (you have to do it don’t you). It was fascinating! Just these chicks in your face beckoning your other half to her door.. awesome. Enjoyed a drink in a pub nearby and I did just about alright in a game of pool. Followed by the Erotic Museum – well worth the 7 euros each… doodles by John Lennon of Yoki Ono…enjoying herself, explicit cartoon videos and many photos and ornaments just to laugh at.

Thursday 18th July

We packed so much into this day! Beautiful weather to go to the Royal Artis Zoo in the morning – was huge and had everything from rain-forest animals, biiig cats, elephants, penguins, an aquarium and monkeys.

We then moved on to the De Hortus Botanicus gardens: butterfly house, huge palm trees and a stupidly humid rain-forest section. Not that I’d expect it to be cold.  Made for good photos!

Diamond factory next after a lovely lunch near Plantage Middenlaan! This is all before the afternoon. We visited Gassan diamond factory as it was free with our card. Beautiful jewellery.

In the evening we booked ourselves an experience in the ice bar – 2 free drinks in a -10 degrees bar. It sounds cool.. it wasn’t. Superficial, touristy and the tour leader was way too bossy. Not again especially for nearly $20! We had a good time before that though having dinner in Spuis (Love that square) and just down the road visiting our favourite coffee shop Tweede Kamer. Met a Canadian and a Liverpudlian – people are so friendly there it’s unreal! Had to go through the Red Light District again, couldn’t resist.

Friday 19th July

Our last day! Weather was incredible again. We trekked it via tram all the way to Paulus Potterstraat to the famous Van Gogh museum. It was so interesting, the paintings were awesome in real life and saw two versions of the ‘Sunflowers’! We felt arty and walked next door into the Stedelijk Modern Art Museum. Better than I thought it’d be – loads of  periodic decor as well as various pieces of art.

For the rest of the afternoon we wandered around markets, said bye to  Tweede Kamer, bought a bigger than big pancake and sat next to the river after we discovered the NEMO centre was shut. We also regrettably missed out on a free canal trip, but it just means that we’ll have to go back. What a shame…


I loved nearly every minute of what Amsterdam had to offer (the ice bar was the exception) and I know it’ll be a recurring destination to visit. Possibly less touristy stuff and more cultural chilling out next time. Can’t wait!

Foundation Troubles

So the last time I needed help buying a piece if makeup, you guys completely influenced my decision and it worked really well. Now that I trust you, can anyone recommend a good foundation? Continue reading

Rat Race

My step brother and his team completed the Rat Race last Saturday afternoon; the longest assault course in Britain. It’s 20 miles long, full of ice baths, obstacles and mud, yet he and his team did it in a fabulous 5 hours! We caught them at the end and they didn’t even look too bad! He was raising money for Prostate Cancer UK and he did everyone proud And just to add, the monkey bars in the course hold the record for being the longest in the country. Gruelling. Kudos to the guys in mankinis though!  Continue reading

Race For Life

It’s official! I am doing the Race For Life this summer, specifically the 9th July in the evening in Peterborough. I am doing it with three other girls from Paperchase to raise money for Cancer Research UK. It’s a 3 mile race, and in my current fitness state, it would probably take me all evening to complete. So I’m starting to go running a bit, helping me to get more toned for summer too. Cancer has, very very sadly, hugely affected my family this past year. It’s seriously the least I can do. Click here to get to our fundraising page. I’m glad to be doing something like this!

The New Job!

That’s right, I’ve been hoping that I would be able to write this post for a good few weeks! I’m really pleased that I’ve been accepted into a full-time secretarial/admin position at a local solicitor’s and I’m starting next week! I had the interview a while ago now, so thought that’d be the end of it. But a phone call came just at the right time in my life to ask if I was still interested. I am sad to be leaving Paperchase in Peterborough, everyone there is so lovely and I will keep in touch. It’s taught me a lot! But I need something new to develop my skills, plus it means I can look forward to the notorious Friday feeling. I am grateful for the new start and hope I can do well for the company and become a credit. It’s just what I needed! Here’s to the beginning of better things to come. :)