Wednesday, 30 April 2014

April Edition of Books are Amazing featuring Charlie

Hooray, it's time for this month's edition of Books Are Amazing! This month my contributor is the lovely Charlie from Shopped and Dropped who is talking through her favourite coffee table books. Take it away, Charlie!


Since I’ve been working full time, I’ve struggled to find the time to read. A few stolen moments with my Kindle on a packed commuter train, the sheer bliss of consuming an entire trilogy on a holiday – they’re all valuable to me, and my bookshelves are choc-a-bloc full of my favourites. And it’s not just my bookshelves either. There’s always one sat on my bedside table, magazines left in the bathroom, and one that I forgot about in that bag over there that I haven’t used since that time I went to festival dedicated to ice cream (that’s a real thing by the way, I pretty much passed out from sugar induced glee). But now I have a flat of my own (well, rented with a friend) I’ve discovered a new realm of book awesomeness: the coffee table book.

These aren’t just tomes full of pretentious art that cost a fortune from a gift shop; they can be amazing, insightful and beautiful books that you can spend seconds or hours flicking through. My coffee table books are a conversation starter and an eye opener. Here’s my favourites:


Postsecret: A Lifetime of Secrets by Frank Warren

Be emotionally stable before you open this book. It will make you have all the feels as you browse the pages of postcards with people’s darkest secrets on them. From petty white lies to full blown confessions, this book highlights the truths of humanity in the most honest and open form. There is always one you can relate to, always one that seems to have been put in the book just for you at the very moment you’re reading it. It’s hard to put it down and not read it from cover to cover.


Information is Beautiful by David McCandless
Facts! Beautiful looking facts! Everything you never knew you wanted to know in stunning drawings, graphs and visualisations that make it easy to understand all manner of probably useless information. Who knew that a list of all the blocked sites in China could look so pretty? Who’d have thought anyone would have the patience to draw a detailed word map of clich├ęs? And for you book lovers, there’s even a word cloud of which books you must read before you die. You didn’t know you needed this book, but oh look, turns out you do!


Other People’s Love Letters by Bill Shapiro

This book is like a Richard Curtis film. When I’m in a good mood it makes me feel like love is all around, and that the world is a beautiful and wonderful place. When I’m in a bad mood it makes me think that love is a stupid concept invented by Hallmark to make us all feel like crap. The love letters in this book are so unbelievably emotional and heartfelt that it’s sometimes difficult to read, but it’s ultimately worth it in the end. Maybe don’t read it around other people. I’m not crying, it’s just raining on my face.


The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins
Missing having a real story? Picture books aren’t just for kids and this one is far too good to share with little ones. The huge hardback book is sketched in luscious black and white and tells an absolutely magical story that pulls you in and makes you feel wrapped up in such glorious fiction that you never want to come back to reality. It’s a coffee table book that is actually better read from start to finish, so make sure you won’t be interrupted.


Next on my list is the book of the amazing Facebook page ‘Humans of New York’, but to paraphrase that most intellectual of films, “We’re gonna need a bigger coffee table.”
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Monday, 28 April 2014

Make Work Wonderful


I was recently sent this article about 10 classic TV office romances, and it struck a chord with me. Not just because a fair few of these made me sob my little heart out - Tim and Dawn! Jim and Pam! (Ssshhh, it's not the same) And oh, oh - Leslie and Ben!

I've been thinking a lot about office romances lately - it's made me realise just how many office crushes I've had over the years. Quite a few, it turns out, but we spend most of our lives at work, is it really that surprising? I actually kind of love an office crush. It makes the working day so much more interesting - that thrill of excitement when you end up alone in the lift together, a bit of playful flirting over the tea round, finding excuses to go and ask them a question... I mean, sure, it can quickly escalate from fun, meaningless flirting into that hopeless stage where you realise you legitimately like this person and either need to act on it or get a new job, but that stage isn't always a bad thing...


If you know anything about what I've been up to lately, you won't be surprised to know I'm a fan of the former. I met my boyfriend Matt at work and it's worked out great so far - so I'm all for acting on it (as long as you're both single, obviously!). Being part of a workplace romance is pretty great. There are downsides; everyone in the office knows a little too much about your relationship and the teasing can be relentless. But they're pretty small cons compared to being able to meet your boyfriend for lunch every day.


There are lots of other ways that you can make your work wonderful though, which is why Twinings Infusions have sponsored the Make Work Wonderful hub on the Huffington Post. Take a look at some of the great articles, such as why work friendships are good for your health, 10 reasons gossiping is good for the soul, ways to improve your work/life balance and even tips on dating a coworker - useful!



Image source 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

~+~ 
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Friday, 11 April 2014

Friday Frocks #159 - I can't fight it any more, I'm going through an awkward phase.

I have a few dresses like this one which I have to wear with a little top underneath, and every time I wear them I wonder who they are made for. I mean, sometimes you want to wear a super low-cut number and wow the world with your amazeballs cleavage, but also sometimes you have to go to work and amazeballs cleavage is generally frowned upon in the office. This? This is the face of experience.

Despite the inappropriate neckline, this is a great dress. Polkadots, swishy skirt, looks good with a red cardi - I'm sold.

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Monday, 7 April 2014

Reasons to be Cheerful #10

This week I'm focusing on the fact that in a week and a few days, it's Easter and we totally get a four day weekend! By focusing on this now, it means that next week I will STILL be cheerful about it. And then the week after, it will be the four day weekend! ALL THE JOY. And also chocolate.

Here are my reasons to be cheerful...

1. Lee Pace. If you don't know who he is, I implore you to watch Pushing Daisies. You will fall in love with him. He's also in Twilight and the Hobbit, but he's best in Pushing Daisies. Such great eyebrows.

2. Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Dough Bars. That bit on top? Peanut butter melted with white chocolate. I need these in my life.

3. SO TRUE!

4. With all this talk of Easter, these rolls seem apt. They are tiny bunnies!

5. I love a tote bag. I love things with initials on. And I love Rob Ryan. So this? Pretty much my Christmas.

6. It's a cat being vacuumed. Yeah.

7. The Real Housewives of Disney - I would watch the crap out of this show.
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Friday, 4 April 2014

Friday Frocks #158 - Ooops, I did it again.


I've talked a lot about trying to save money for buying a house, and part of that means less shopping. But actually, I've just been budgeting more and it means that usually, once a month, I can get away with the odd cheeky purchase still... within reason. I posted a few weeks ago about a new dress that I'd completely fallen for, but when I went back to the shop, I found my pretty blue dress in an even prettier green. DILEMMA. I mean, having them both surely wasn't an option... right?

Um. This is my guilty spendy face.
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