LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11:  Commuters wait to board a tube train in Clapham Common station on one of the few London Underground services operating through the RMT Union's tube strike on June 11, 2009 in London, England. A 48 hour strike began at 7pm on Tuesday after discussions over pay and working conditions between London Underground bosses and the RMT Union failed to reach a conclusion.  (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

The 10 Unwritten Rules Of Surviving London Transport During Rush Hour

The sweaty commute to and from work is probably the worst thing about living/working in London and if it’s not the shitty service that will make you want to shove your head in a blender, it’s your fellow passengers thrusting their mucky free newspapers in your face and giving their tired bags a seat whilst you fight for hand space on a grubby rail.

old woman boxing

1 – One of the first things they teach you in boxing is keep your stance strong, your head down and your guard up, apply these same rules when approaching any form of London public transport and you can’t go far wrong.

2 – Leave your manners on the platform. Once that tube door opens run like a mother trucker and you might just bag prime standing space by the door where you can feel the delightfully grotty stale air whipping your ears. Rush hour really isn’t the time to be playing Billy Nice Guy and letting everyone else on before you, nuh uh honey.

3 – If you’re sitting in one of the seats at the end of a row there’s a 99.9% chance a pregnant woman will get on at the next stop and you’ll need to give your seat up. Everyone around you will pretend she doesn’t exist so don’t be a dickhead, let her sit down. Also, offer your seat to women in dangerously high heels, trust me, they need it more than you.

4 – Don’t be a backpack wanker. If you have a bag, take it off and put it between your legs. Personal space is already limited and wearing it on your back is the equivalent of sneezing during the Black Plague.

5 – It’s OK to hate tourists who don’t know to use their Oyster cards when you’re in a hurry and need to top up and there’s a million of them huddled around the machines trying to tap into Narnia, TFL should NEVER have got rid of the ticket offices.

6 – Don’t wait for the barriers to close before beeping your Oyster on the reader. Keep it moving people, orange means go go go!

7 – People who hog an entire with their backs are an enemy to us all and deserve to be poked and prodded as you fight for something to hold on to to avoid surfing all over the Northern Line.

8 – Everyone hates pushchairs and massive suitcases at the best of times but those fold-up seats were made for them so if you’re sitting there, move.

9 – There’s always that one person who tries to be all 007 and jump through the doors just before they’re about to close resulting in them getting their bag caught. It’s OK to laugh at them but give them a hand at yanking their bag free as you do so.

10 – Conversations with strangers are limited to after 9pm and only if one or both of you are drunk. You can share the odd tut or eye roll if there’s a delay or you’re suck in a tunnel but other than that, be British and keep yourself to yourself.

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30 Awesome Things To Do Before You’re 30

I turn 28 in July and can’t seem to shake off that feeling that as unmarried woman with no kids I’m going to slowly start growing patches of mould like old bread and start thinking farts are disgusting and not funny because that’s what thirty year old woman do, right? Bruh, farts will always be funny. I don’t want to live in a world where farts aren’t funny.

shit's getting real

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who had been going through a bad time and his sister had put together a list of 30 things to check off and it really made me think about my own life goals as 30 feels like such a huge milestone, especially as a woman. I live alone, I can cook a meal from scratch that tastes so good you’d want to slap your mother and I’ve travelled all over the world as well as knowing London like the back of my hand and regularly indulging in the quirky culture of my beautiful city. Being all kinds of open minded and adventurous I’ve done quite a lot of awesome things but before I develop a taste for soya milk and ditch my Danger Mouse pants there’s still a tonne of cool shit I still need to do.

1 – Climb Ben Nevis. I’m planning to climb Ben Nevis before the summer is out! It’s been up there on my list of things to do for a good few years but I’ve just never got around to it as Scotland is so bloody far!

church of bones prague2 – Visit the The Church of Bones (Sedlac Ossuary) in Prague. I have visited Prague many times for work and in August two of my lovely friends who live there are getting married so I’m going to sneak away for the afternoon and visit the Church of Bones. It looks so beautiful, if a little fucked up but I guess that’s the kinda stuff I like.

3 – Do mushrooms in Amsterdam. I’ve been to Amsterdam many times, I even had a Christmas work do there which was awesome and whilst I’ve indulged in a few of the ‘local delicacies’ *ahem* I’ve never done anything as hardcore as mushrooms and whilst I’m hesitant about not being fully in control of my body I want to meet a few leprechauns and mushrooms are natural. Kinda.

fat girl running4 – Run a half marathon. It’s more of the discipline of training to run a marathon that appeals to me rather than the actual running itself. Running is pretty shit and I hate it but if I have something to aim for I get tunnel vision and don’t stop until I’ve reached that goal. Luckily, one of my good friends is keen to help me and we’re going for our first run tomorrow!

5 – Skydive abroad. I’ve already done a tandem skydive and whilst it was an awesome experience, I did it over some British countryside which didn’t provide the best view plus it was a bit cloudy. I want to do another skydive where I have an awesome view and am drenched in sunshine.

6 – Do more volunteering/charity work. I’ve been involved with a homeless shelter and more recently I was a volunteer counsellor at a well known prison and I absolutely loved the experience of selflessly helping other people who really need it.

beyonce mona lisa7 – See the Mona Lisa and Catacombs in Paris. I’ve wanted to go to Paris for the longest time but it’s never quite happened and I’m absolutely dying to see the Mona Lisa and eat the macaroons they sell in McDonald’s! There really is no excuse what with the Eurostar making Paris so cheap and accessible…

8 – Sleep under the Northern Lights in a glass igloo. I love to watch the stars, I have a skylight right above my bed and I gaze at them every night before I drift off to sleep. The Northern Lights are visible on roughly 200 nights a year in Lapland, I could ever see Santa whilst I’m there and tell him not to believe everything he hears. LOL.

9 – Visit Thailand and train in a Thai boxing camp for a fortnight. I trained in Muay Thai for around 2 years and really enjoyed it. I was fit, healthy and felt confident in able to protect myself should any bitches not bow down but most importantly I was so focused it made me improve other areas of my life. I trained in a shady backstreet gym in Peckham and whilst I feel I was taught well I can only imagine the knowledge I could gain from the fighters in Thailand.

ducati monster

10 – Pass my Direct Access motorbike test. I’ve been into bikes pretty much my whole life, my dad has had a bike from as long as I can remember and I was always on the back! I had a little dirt bike at the tender age of 6 which fuelled my passion for 2 wheels leading to me having two 125’s when I was 23. Unfortunately I moved house and life got in the way but I would love to get my full bike license, I have my heart set on a KTM Duke or a Ducati Monster. There’s no words to describe the feeling of being on a fast bike on a hot day, it’s almost addictive. Also, I met so many awesome people through biking the first time round and I really fucking miss them.

computer nerd11 – Study to gain a new skill. I’m very keen to study social care and it’s definitely something I shall be doing in the very near future. My local college has a variety of night classes or I could do an Open University course but I have a good feeling I wouldn’t actually do anything and just piss around all day if I was left to my own devices. Hmmm.

12 – Fire a powerful gun on a shooting range. A few friends have just come back from Vegas and they went to a shooting range and it looked all kinds of awesome! Plus, I’m going to need basic skills for the zombie apocalypse…

music festival

13 – Go to a music festival. Mud, portaloo’s and drug ravaged dicks everywhere lessen the appeal of music festivals for me but on the flip side I can’t think of anything better than getting off my tits with my friends seeing some of my favourite bands play live in the sunshine. I would like to do Rock Werchter or Download but I think 2 days would be enough… Any longer than that in a tent and I’d turn into a demon. Hungover Karleigh needs approaching with caution and a comfortable bed!

14 – Go on a cruise. Not so keen on being surrounded by all that water (I’m not a strong swimmer, I look like a goat stuck in a flood) but I love the idea of waking up every day in another country. They’re pretty cheap these days too and not full of old people like I once thought. Oh and the food. THE FOOD.

beyoncen15 – See Beyoncé in concert. Mate, I’m probably Beyoncé’s biggest fan but she only plays huge, packed-out venues which have me feeling a bit twitchy as just the thought of being there. I suffer slightly from anxiety in enclosed spaces with tonnes of people and I’m not sure how I would handle the volume of bodies but I would love to show Beyonce my one legged twerk. I bet she’d fucking love it.

16 – Fall In love with someone almost as awesome as me. Many things in life can be shitty, love shouldn’t be one of them.

17 – Be an extra in a movie. I’ve worked on a zombie film as a make up artists and I’ve also a part of World Zombie Day (I was a Resident Evil nurse!) but I’ve never been in a film and I think I’d make a pretty bad ass zombie.

honey booboo18 – Go to a wrestling match. I’ve loved wrestling since I was a kid having been close to my male cousins and I had tickets for WWE Raw in 2012 but unfortunately I was too sick to go, boo!

19 – See a show on Broadway. I LOVE the theatre, I’m lucky enough to live a stone’s throw from central London and I’m good at finding dirt cheap seats so I do go fairly often but like everything in New York I imagine it’s bigger, better and even more awesome than anything I’ve seen before.

20 – Feel comfortable with my body and who I am. Possibly one of the most tricky things on my list that needs ticking off and I’m not sure if it will ever be fully achievable but I’m a hell of a lot more body confident now than when I was in my early 20’s.

freddie mercury21 – Learn to walk in high heels. My mum says I look like Dick Emery in stiletto’s.

22 – Switch off from technology for the week and go camping/hiking/fishing etc. Usually not my bag as I love my home comforts but if the weather’s nice I imagine this would be pretty awesome. I’d be all Bear Grylls and only eat what I catch too, I’d probably starve but think of the weight loss!

23 – Buy a house. FFS. Yeah, this probably won’t happen.

abandoned mental asylum24 – Stay the night in an abandoned and rumoured to be haunted building. I’m terrified of the dark and anything remotely scary, since living on my own I can’t even watch horror films or even that wanky horror picture Twitter feed because I know I’d be up all night. I recently had a diva moment at the Warwick Castle dungeon, the weird jester dude had it in for me from the word go and as we stood in this dark room full of monks I shouted at them to open the door and full on freaked out. Everyone laughed at me and I gave zero fucks I just wanted out of there.

crazy cat lady25 – Adopt a rescue cat. A lot of things needs to be in place for this to happen as I’m currently renting but I would love to adopt a rescue cat. Maybe an older one that just wants to chill and eat tuna with me and see out their last days in peace.

26 – Play poker in Vegas. I learnt to play poker on a bizarre first date with a male stripper in a dingy Fleet Street pub whilst drinking gin with cucumber like true classy bastards. He was a professional poker player (as well as professional dick shower) and we played until last orders, using Starbursts as chips until last orders. I think he still follows me on Twitter. ‘sup.

27 – Take a road trip across Europe, even if it’s just to somewhere local-ish like Belgium. Cherry beer and chocolate everythang, mmmmm. Ideally I would like to do this on a bike but I would settle for a car because a numb bum is no joke and with a boney butt like mine it gets sore just going from London to Brighton #pancake

backpacking28 – Travel solo and go back packing, staying in shitty hostels and making friends with crazy awesome people along the way. I’ve always travelling with friends but quite like the idea of doing exactly what I want and being forced to meet new people. I’m fairly sociable but if I’m good at reading people from the word go… Some people call it judgemental, I call it my gut instinct.

29 – Conquer a fear. I’m terrified of moths, once the summer hits I become a moth ninja, checking every door, ceiling, light and corner of every room to make sure no flying dust filled flying pricks are in there waiting to attack me. I hate the sound of their wings flapping against the wall, I hate the way they always fly in your damn face and some of them are huge! I’ve slept on the sofa many times when a moth has been in my bedroom, it’s that deep.

hawaii30 – Drink a Sex On The Beach on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii. I fell in love with the idea of visiting Hawaii after reading Lindsay Kelk’s About a Girl (a FABULOUS read and Lindsay is fucking awesome). The unspoilt scenery looks breathtaking and I would love to see dolphins up close and a volcano!

 

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Belgian chocolate buttholes and 9 other weird Valentine’s Day gifts

Valentine’s Day is so much more than flowers and a fancy dinner which have been done to death and require zero imagination. Spoil your loved one with one of these romantic, albeit, unusual gifts and leave the roses to the suckers.

1 – Belgian chocolate edible anus.  Because nothing says eat my ass like groceries like a chocolate butthole.

£23.95 for 5 boxes from Edible Anus

chocolate anus

2 – Salami Bouquet. Flowers wilt and die but meat is forever… Kinda. Also, this is a sure fire way of letting her know you want her to chow down on some meat.

$50 for 3 stems from Olympic Provisions (or you could make your own for a couple of quid with some Peperami and a bit of tissue paper. Boom.)

salami bouquet

3 – Heart shaped BBQ branding iron. Feel like being a smug bastard and staying home to cook instead of joining the British underclass in their set menu and house wine evening out this Valentine’s Day? Make your partner a steak and seal it with love. This would also come in very handy for Steak & BJ Day.

$24.95 from Texas Irons.

heart shaped

4 – Kanye card. Because who loves Kanye more than Kanye?

I don’t know where this card is from but you can buy a buttload of similar ones from Etsy.

kanye cad5 – Erox body spray. The Sex Panther for women, men will fall at your feet with this on and you won’t have to spend another Valentine’s Day cuddled up with your cats.

$59.95 for 40ml from Erox.

erox

6 – Giant selfie head. If you’re in a long-distance relationship these creepy giant head photos are the next best thing to having you there in person.

$19.99 for a 2 foot giant head from Build a Head.

build a head

7 – Wine handbag. For the classy lady in your life.

£29.99 from Firebox.

wine handbag

8 – Shit bitch bear. Well, you can’t say it’s not original.

£17.99 from Firebox.

shit bitch bear

9 – 3D Big Butt book. The ultimate gift for guys who like big butts and cannot lie.

£24.99 from Firebox.

big butt book

10 – Let’s make out cushion. Give your house a touch of ‘I’m a poncey young trendy type’ by throwing this cushion on your old banger of a sofa and cut to the chase this Valentine’s Day.

$97 from Alexandra Ferguson.

lets make out pillow

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Lush Blousey shampoo review

As someone who has dyed their hair all the colours of the rainbow for years and home-bleached it various shades of yellow and orange it’s fair to say my hair is not in the best condition. Naturally wavy and thick I’ve always battled to keep it frizz-free and manageable and have tried pretty much every moisturising shampoo on the market!

lushu

In the past 6 months I’ve given it a slight break by only using semi-permanent dyes and have taken the more relaxed route when it comes to heat styling: going to bed with it wet, waking up with it semi-dry and just sticking it in a bun and carrying on about my bidniz. My hair’s still recovering from an awful keratin blow-dry treatment in which the stylist BURNT my scalp resulting in an itchy, flaky scalp that can only be controlled with specialist Neutrogena T/Gel shampoo. I’ve grown to love the effect this shampoo has on my hair, not only does it soothe my irritated scalp it also makes my hair incredibly soft and easy to straighten BUT the major downside is that with all dandruff/irritated scalp shampoos it strips the colour off my hair and leaves it looking a little dull. Oh and it smells like freshly laid tarmac. Hmmmpf.

Enter, Lush Blousey! The answer to all my prayers with it’s mash of bananas and softening oils to hydrate hair without stripping the colour. I’m not going to lie, I HATE the fact it comes in a pot. It’s way too fiddly to mess about with in the shower and think of all the excess water etc. that gets in there too. Also, a 240g pot is £18. £18!!!!!!!!! That’s Kerastase money son.

Lush say:

A thick, deeply moisturising shampoo that hydrates your hair, leaving it feeling soft, nourished and cared for. Blousey is bursting with butters, bananas and berries to revive and protect hair. Bananas are protein-rich and soften the hair; cocoa and cupuaçu butters also restore moisture, and antiseptic pimento berry is effective in maintaining a healthy scalp.

banana catBack during the Boxing Day sale (urgh, never again) a lady in the queue was raving about Blousey as it was half price and it’s the only thing that can tame her afro hair and make it manageable. As the Wimbledon store is so small and we were snaked around pretty much the whole store it was impossible not to join in the conversation and whilst I was tempted to grab a pot there and then I had already been standing there for the best part of twenty minutes and didn’t want to lose my spot (sales bitches be crazy). Anyway, with my interest piqued I came back at a later date and grabbed a small sample pot containing roughly 2 uses by a lovely sales assistant back at their Wimbledon store. I sometimes find their staff a bit overbearing and to be honest, it does put me off going in Lush stores knowing I’d be faced with 1920292020 smiley sales assistants asking me if I’m OK. I digress!

So what did I think? Now with all them bananas you would expect it to smell banana-y, right? Unfortunately (or fortunately, for banana scent haters) it has a more earthy sort of smell, almost botanical? Think Liz Earle, dirt and hippies. The smell was quite refreshing as it felt natural, like I wasn’t smothering my head in artificial nastiness which while smells more palatable, doesn’t do my delicate scalp any favours. Whilst I’m not a fan of the pot packaging the texture of the product probably wouldn’t fare too well in a squeezy bottle as it’s so thick… Think bread dough!

lush blouseyIt felt a bit strange using a shampoo that didn’t lather but I felt the moisturising properties of all the oils and butters straight away, almost like I was washing my hair with conditioner. I doubled cleansed as I do with all shampoos (I use a LOT of products and generally get quite a lot of build-up, hence always needing to wash twice) I probably could have got away without using a conditioner at all as my hair felt really soft and I could run my hands through it without any snags or tangles. I used my usual conditioner and rinsed as normal and my hair did feel pretty good, if a little heavy. I blow dried my hair with a little Tresemme 7 Day Smooth and straightened as usual and whilst it felt moisturised it looked a little lank and greasy, and that was pretty much straight after I washed it. I also felt like there was a coating on my hair, almost like a wax which was giving the feeling it was softer but was actually still quite dry underneath. Hmmm. Fast forward to day 2 and my hair looked so greasy I couldn’t wait to wash it again which is unlike me as I’m lazy and normally leave it 3-4 days, my hair is so dry and thick it never looks/feels greasy until day 4!

Overall, I wouldn’t purchase this product personally as I feel it was too heavy for my hair and the price point is way too high IMHO but I really think this would work on extremely dry or afro hair or as a treatment after colouring/bleaching your hair.

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5 of the best cheap restaurants in London

My new year’s resolution is to tighten the purse strings and become a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to things I don’t really need and whilst I’m finding the switch from shop-bought lunches to sandwiches from home and buying ‘basics’ baked beans etc. pretty easy the one thing I really enjoy is eating out and it’s something I’m not willing to cut out! Little things like ordering tap water instead of a pricey cocktail or bottle of wine and skipping a starter are little ways to reduce your bill (some people feel a bit tight ordering tap water, I don’t care, I’ll even ask for a slice of lemon in it lol) at your favourite restaurants but due to my intensive detective work I’ve found a few eateries that are delicious, cheap AND you can bring your own bottle of alcohol to!

In no particular order, here’s a few restaurants that you can visit the week before payday:

1 – Kao Sarn, Clapham Junction (also a branch in Brixon I haven’t been to because although Brixton is fast becoming hipster and yummy mummy central I still think it’s a bit scummy)

kao sarn

My FAVOURITE restaurant in Clapham Junction has to be Kao Sarn, I absolutely adore Thai food and their Tom Yum Goong soup is almost as good as the uber pricey Patara offering which is absolutely DIVINE but reserved for special occasions as it’s rare to come out with a bill that’s under £100!

Everything is deliciously homemade with generous portions and best of all you can bring your own bottle with no corkage fee! I’ve had a blast every time I’ve come, they even have an authentic Thai lady boy serving you (who is awesome, just don’t piss her off). There’s also a Sainsbury’s across the road as an added bonus (their £5 cava is pretty good) but phone up and book if you’re looking to head there from Thursday-Sat as it gets very busy.

2 – Cornish Tiger, Battersea

Ohhhhhhhhh lordy I was SO impressed with this place! I found it online through OpenTable and for the price, £9.99 for 2 courses before 7pm me and my good friend Kerri really weren’t expecting anything fancy but we were completely blown away by the delicious choices on offer. Seasonal and simple the menu is British food at it’s best and everything from the decor to the quality of the food is enough to fool you into thinking you’re in a Michelin-starred establishment.

cornish tiger battersea

The portions are perfect and beautifully presented it’s hard to believe such a swish place comes with such a small price tag. The decor is basic but comfortable, with subtle lighting and the friendliest staff you could ever encounter. It was my friends birthday and when I booked I asked for them to do something special with her dessert, low and behold they came out singing happy birthday with a candle in her ice cream. She cringed, but it was a lovely touch! The food is deliciously fresh and I love restaurants that use locally-sourced, seasonal stock, it really does taste better. Ideal for a catch up or date night, Cornish Tiger is well worth a visit!

3 – Ben’s Canteen, Earlsfield & Clapham Junction

Ben’s Canteen is one of though achingly cool places that yummy mummy’s flock to in their droves after Bikram yoga with their little dogs and young, trendy play date pals after a hard day shopping and making vegan frittata. Equally, you get the hungover crowd too brunching and downing spicy bloody mary’s of a weekend morning all muddled together like a Superdry-clad mojito.

bens canteenWith classics such as juicy burgers and chicken parmesan schnitzel to their incredible mac and cheese scotch egg and of course the breakfast and brunches the extensive canteen menu caters for everyone in a laid-back shabby chic setting. Enjoy cocktails in jam jars and other hipster-esque touches whilst reading the morning papers or take advantage of one of their current offers, my favourite being the 2 courses for £15 with a drink before 7pm for great value on really great food.

4 – Bistro 1, Soho & Covent Garden

I always visit Bistro 1 if I happen to be in town for a show as the service is quick, the food is good and at £14.90 for 2 courses it’s one of the cheapest places in bustling Covent Garden that you can sit and eat before heading on to the theatre. Of course there are cheaper places to grab something on the go but I hate eating in public and Bistro 1 has a great atmosphere but is quiet enough to chat and relax before the madness of the night begins.

bistro-1Friendly staff who don’t judge you for ordering tap water, mouth-watering Mediterranean food with something for everyone and purse friendly prices give this unique chain the thumbs up for me, I’ve visited several times and I’m always impressed with the quality of the food. The mixed mezze starter is big enough for two and me and my partner always share a starter and dessert to take full advantage of the 2 course offer. The chicken shish kebab is served with the most delicious Turkish rice and the banoffee pie is one of the best I’ve tasted! Home-made and mostly healthy, it’s definitely something to try the next time you’re in town.

5 – Khan’s, Battersea & Epsom

The freshest Indian food I have EVER eaten was at Khan’s and it works out dirt cheap with their fabulous 50% off offer! Me and my good friend Jack visited recently and had a huge banquet with various starters, mains and sides which came to well over £40 but take off 50% and it was just over a tenner each!

khan's batterseaThe menu is bursting with exotic dishes, I sometimes flirt with being a vegetarian (it doesn’t last long because, bacon) and I was truly spoilt for choice with their extensive meat-free selection and I opted for the pumpkin masala which is up there with the most delicious things I have ever put it my mouth. Khan’s market themselves heavily on their low-fat and colour free cooking which is popular with the thriving young professional community of Clapham Junction. From classics such as korma and bhuna to chef’s specials which include sweet and sour prawns and coriander and lemon chicken I’m already planning my next visit to Khan’s.

Book through opentable.co.uk for the 50% off food offer.

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Must see exhibition – Art Of The Brick by Nathan Sawaya

One of the things I love most about living in London in the amazing array of art, exhibitions, galleries and museums on my doorstep. There’s always something going on and when I heard about Nathan Sawaya’s Art Of The Brick exhibition I new instantly it was a must-see, as a kid I LOVED Lego and could spend hours with just my imagination and a box of bricks, which I think my mum still has stashed away somewhere.

art of brick john lennon

Hosted in the trendy Shoreditch (where else!) and appropriately named on Brick Lane’s Truman Brewery the exhibition is an amazing insight as to just what you can achieve with those little bricks and I was blown away by the detail and background stories of each piece, which Sawaya playfully injected his humour into giving it a more personal touch and much more fun to read for younger guests.

Ripped from the official website

‘Nathan Sawaya is a New York-based artist who creates awe-inspiring works of art out of some of the most unlikely things. His recent global touring exhibitions feature large-scale sculptures using only toy building blocks: LEGO bricks to be exact. His work is obsessively and painstakingly crafted and is both beautiful and playful.

Sawaya was the first artist to ever take LEGO into the art world, and is the author of two best selling books. His unique sculptures and touring exhibition, THE ART OF THE BRICK, is the first exhibition to focus exclusively on LEGO® as an art medium and has broken attendance records around the globe. The creations, constructed from countless individual LEGO® pieces, were built from standard bricks beginning as early as 2002.

Nathan Sawaya has earned a top position in the world of contemporary art and has created a new dimension by merging Pop Art and Surrealism in awe inspiring and ground breaking ways. His art consists of playing with the material, colour, movement, light and perspective.’

I’ve only featured about a third of what’s on show, the exhibition space is huge and there’s so much to see. You can get right up close and personal with the sculptures to see how they’re made and there’s lots of interactive features and videos to keep little ones entertained.

Art Of The Brick is running until the end of January and is definitely a must-see for art fans, tickets are from just £14.50 and admission is in half hour slots so as to not get too crowded.

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£10 and under crap Christmas gift guide for people you don’t really like

I hate Christmas shopping and never know what to buy people as when you’re an adult if you want something, you just go out and buy it and the only things people do genuinely want are way out of your price range (I’m not buying no bish an iPad). After stressing yourself out traipsing round the shops on a drizzly Saturday afternoon you end up with a few generic gift sets from Boots and a new coat, duvet set and perfume for yourself… Or is that just me? Anyway, it’s hard enough buying stuff for people you like, but what about those workplace Secret Santa losers that you would rather see choke on a mince pie than spend a whole fiver on or a family member you heavily dislike but will be seeing at a family do? Have no fear, I’ve put together a £10 and under crap gift guide so all you have to do is match the pleb to the present. Huzzuh.

Gentlemen’s Ballscratcher £8.99

gentlemens ball scratcher

Nothing says suck my balls like a ballscratcher ‘for the busy male executive’. Even comes in a poncey box. Pah.

Poo-Pourri Original Before-You-Go-Bathroom Spray £6.99

poo-pourri

This would be the best office Secret Santa gift to someone who stinks up the toilet. ‘More than your standard bathroom air freshener, Poo-Pourri can leave any toilet smelling better than when you found it. Poo-Pourri ensures that whoever follows you in has no idea what you’ve been up to.’ 

Official 2015 Cliff Richard calendar £6.29

Cliff-Richard-calender

Who doesn’t want Sir Cliff’s big, soppy, punchable face beaming at them every day? Previous years have seen him posing with dolphins, rocking out on a bass guitar and even playing basketball in a tight vest. What a douche dude.

Choc-u-lator £1

choculator

Imagine their little face light up as they rip it open and see a huge, delicious bar of chocolate… Then watch that smile turn into a snarl as they realise it’s a calculator. Pants.

Stinky candles £8.99

stinky candles

Everyone loves a scented candle, they’re relaxing, comforting and warming in the Winter months… But what if it smells like vomit, body odour, onion, urinal, petrol or fast food? BARF.

Evil Hot Gummi Bears £5.99

evil hot gummi bears

Don’t they look cute, delicious and innocent? Watch the recipient shovel them in by the handful (no-one eats gummi bears one at a time) and quickly realise you’re not their best friend. Flavoured with a Naga-infused kick these little fellas really pack a punch, but if you’re aiming for pain in the butthole you’re better off with these bad boys.

Period Panties £9.99

evil beaver period panties

Perfect for the office bitch who gives you hell for a few days every month, like clockwork. Chose your timing carefully with this one.

The Snot Sucker £8.99

snot sucker

A great gift for a new parent who doesn’t shut up about their kid and the workplace sicknote who is constantly snuffing, sneezing and gargling their germs, much to your delight. You can see all the snot gather in the syringe, yummy.

Maybe You Touched Your Genitals Hand Sanitizer £4.99

maybe you touched your genitals

We all know that one dude who constantly has his hands down his trousers and smells a bit penisy.

Colour Me Ginger £7.99

colour me good ginger

For the token ginge, we all have one.

rihanna rogue

Smell like a sexy bon bon with Rihanna’s Rogue EDP

rihanna rogue

I bloody love Rihanna. I love her music (don’t act like you haven’t done the gun-finger-windy-leg-dance) when Rude Boy comes on the radio, she’s impossible not to dance to with sexy lyrics that teeter on the right side of slutty. I love her style, her tattoos and most of all her attitude. She genuinely doesn’t give a fuck what anyone thinks of her and being in the spotlight I can’t even begin to imagine how tough that must be what with having people telling you how to look and act all the time. Her tweet replies to trolls are HILARIOUS and her Instagram is always buzzing with something outrageous but I totally get how people dislike her and that’s fine, you lemme know how that haterade tastes!

Whilst I generally avoid sleb fragrances I do have a few that I keep on rotation as they’re usually really cheap, especially on eBay. I adore Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely as it’s fresh, inoffensive and does smell really good. It’s usually under £20 for a huge bottle so I like to keep a bottle for spritzing when I’m not doing anything special or just for work, I even use it for spraying my clothes with as they’re drying. I also like J-Lo’s Glow as it’s a baby powder musk that smells really clean and comforting, again can be found really cheap and is easy to wear. I tend to avoid sweet scents as they give me an instant headache, for example Dior’s Miss Dior makes me physically gag but I know it’s a firm favourite for many! For me to like a sweet scent it has to be amazing and in my opinion Rogue has a masculine edge which saves it from being another generic sickly sweet fragrance churned out by the big boys.

rihanna-rogue-1With a base of vanilla and musk that gives the fragrance some serious longevity the strong amber note is cut with a subtle feminine edge that will have you constantly sniffing at your wrist. I loved this scent from the very first spray, the first burst of intoxicating sugary sweetness quickly gives way to a masculine note that makes the fragrance really interesting, think David Gandy covered in Skittles and that’s what Rogue smells like. With notes including lemon blossom, jasmine, rose, soft plum, bergamot, pink peppercorn, cyclamen, suede, patchouli and vanilla, amber and musk as already mentioned this is definitely not a barely-there-scent, it practically screams to be worn with a berry lip and a pair of patent heels. Fuck yeah.

rihanna rogue bottleRogue has been compared to Gucci Rush which is another fragrance I love but again has a huge divide of people who love it and people who would rather slap their mother than wear it and Tulisa’s Female Boss which I haven’t, and don’t want to smell because Tulisa is a penis. Described as a ‘Flirty, Sensual Oriental’ Rogue is definitely aimed at a younger market (I can’t imagine a stylish 40-yea-old woman wearing it tbh) but to me it’s different enough for me to embrace a sweeter scent in my collection and the sexy, square bottle makes it look a lot more expensive than it is.

I got mine from Superdrug on special offer, £21 for the huge 125ml but it’s floating around on eBay for roughly the same price.

blue ice cream

My desert island make up bag

Summer was a bummer. Even though it’s over, you would think us Brits would be used to the wet and this horrid rain by now but every year without fail we get a washout of a Summer and take to social media to play who can turn the heating on the earliest. I won, BTW. With the current washout my partner and I were desperate to feel the sun on our skin one last time and booked a last minute trip to the gorgeous sandy beaches of Alanya, Turkey. blue ice creamI found the deal on Teletext Holidays and as always, I checked TripAdvisor and it all seems to be looking pretty sweet. I thoroughly recommend checking your hotel/resort/beaches/local area etc. on TripAdvisor before heading ANYWHERE as you can be sold a thousand dreams with decent photographs and some slick, well written blurbs. We got a pretty good deal, full board including transfers and baggage etc. for just £340 each! I’ve been to Istanbul a few times as I have some Turkish family members but hadn’t been to a beach resort yet so was keen to see what Alanya had to offer when we jetted off on the 28th September. Unfortunately we didn’t have the best time, we found it dirty and unsafe, especially at night! The beach was beautiful and the weather was amazing but the general vibe of the place didn’t leave us feeling like we would ever come back.

desert island make up bag

Trying to keep costs low we only took 1 suitcase so that meant having to downsize my usual 10 tonne luggage to just essentials and things I will actually wear/use and not just take for the sake of it (which I have a really bad habit of doing…) so whilst it’s not really a desert island, Turkey has sand and I was limited in what I could take so it’s the same thing, innit.

Superdrug Essentials Facial Cleansing Wipes For Combination Skin. The moistest face wipes in the world! Well, next to the uber moist MAC ones which you need to take out a mortgage to keep yourself in regular supply of. These bargain face wipes take off EVERYTHING, including waterproof mascara and the crap load of base I wear. I’ve been re-purchasing these over and over, I can’t recommend them highly enough!

99p for 25 wipes.

sudocrem and dove deodorantSudocrem. A really good multi-use product that can be used for sunburn, spots, bug bites and erm… a sore butt. I don’t go anywhere without this, I usually travel with the small tube but duty free didn’t have it in stock so I had to buy another pot which is no bad thing as it will definitely get used up. Good if you get pesky shaving bumps around your lady parts too…

£5.99 for a 400g tub

Dove compressed Go Fresh Pomegranate & Lemon Verbena Anti-Perspirant Deodorant. I absolutely LOVE the smell of this! Really fresh and uplifting, perfect if you know you’re going to be getting hot and sweaty as it keeps you dry, smelling sweet and doesn’t irritate as some heavily perfumed deodorants can. The 75ml compressed version is perfect for popping in your hand luggage too if you’re going away.

£2.99 for 75ml

Blistex Intensive Moisturiser Hydrating Lip Cream SPF10. I carry this about with me everywhere I go, it’s the only lip balm that really soothes and moisturises my lips especially when left on overnight. I also love the fact it has SPF10 to keep my lips from getting burnt. Haev you ever had sunburnt lips? It’s not fun! It’s creamy enough to wear under a matte lipstick too, I’ve re-purchased this more times than I can remember and keep one at my desk, at my partner’s and in my bag.

£2.63 for a 5g tube

dove hair mask and loccitane repairing oilDove Advanced Hair Series Pure Care Oil Treatment Mask. Possibly the best hair mask on the high street, my hair is naturally a dry, frizzy unmanageable mess and this really helps to tame it and keep me from looking like Worzel Gummidge in lipstick. I use this in place of a regular conditioner as my hair is so dry and I also use it to tie my hair back if we were going in the sea/pool to help protect it a bit from all the chemicals and salt water. When I rinsed it out at the end of the day my hair was soft and shiny, for the price you really can’t complain and I’ve repurchased it twice since.

£6.99 for a 200ml tub

L’Occitane Repairing Oil. In honesty I took this as I was trying to use it up and didn’t care how much I was using as I tend to get through my beloved Morrocconoil at lightening speed and that stuff costs a pretty penny! The repairing oil doesn’t do as good a job as Morrocconoil in my opinion as my hair is pretty hard to manage and for the price tag, and being L’Occitane I was expecting to love it as there’s not much from the brand I dislike. It’s OK for a basic serum but there are definitely a lot better out there for a lot less money! Oh, and it smells like bad breath.

£20.00 for 100ml

The Vintage Cosmetic Company tweezers. I couldn’t go anywhere without tweezers, you never know when you need to pluck out a stray moustache hair! My hair grows SUPER fast, and not just the hair on my head, my legs, eyebrows etc. miraculously sprout a wild bush overnight and I have to pluck something at least once a day to avoid looking like a woolly mammoth. Fun times. These look pretty and they do a damn good job of getting those tiny hairs that feel like spikes when you run your finger over them.

£8.00

bach rescue pastillesBach Rescue Pastilles. So let me tell you a funny story, I freaked out when I realised we were going to be just 400 miles from the Syrian border and was terrified our plane was going to be hijacked and I was going to get my head cut off by Jihadi John. I never usually have a problem flying but I felt quite unsettled at the airport and grabbed these in duty free. I think they’re more of a placebo as I didn’t physically feel any different but I got through the flight without causing a scene and they taste pretty good. Not sure I’d buy them again, I just won’t be going back to Turkey any time soon…

£4.69 for a 50g tin

Garnier Ambre Solaire BB Sun Face Protection SPF30. I really like BB creams, even though it took me quite a while to fully get into them I don’t think I could go back to using just a foundation again. This one is OK, it’s not the best as the coverage isn’t great and it can get a bit greasy but for a week in the sun it’s all you need. I’m fair skinned and burn easily so I like to smother my face in sun protection, I also like the Clinique City Block but it’s quite pricey and I feel the Ambre Solaire one is fairly similar in terms of coverage.

£16 for 30ml

sleek blush by 3 palette in laceBenefit They’re Real! Mascara. I have a serious love/hate for this product as it really does deliver on it’s claims to give your lashes length and volume whilst not looking like false lashes but definitely giving them real definition. I love the packaging, the wand and the formula and bonus points as it lasted all day even though I went in the sea with it on like a doughnut and several waves went over my head! It didn’t smudge, flake or irritate my eyes but came off easily with a face wipe, basically everything you could want in a mascara… BUT it’s very expensive, I wear make up every day and get through quite a bit of mascara and forking out £19.50 a time really doesn’t sit well with me. Not to mention a tube only lasts around a month as it dries out so quick! I’m not loving Benefit as a brand at the moment either due to the disappointing beauty calendar. Hmmm.

£19.50, YES £19 bloody 50 for 8.5g

Sleek Blush By 3 in Lace. I LOVE Sleek blushers, for the price they’re amazing. Really highly pigmented, smooth and in a range of flattering shades that are dupes of more expensive brands. I’ve had this one for ages and I’ve hit pan on the coral as you can see by the pic, for my fair skin it gives me a ‘just in from the cold’ flush that I wear most days. The middle shade is a lot like NARS Orgasm and the orange shade also looks great on the apples of my cheeks when I’ve applied an all over matte bronzer. I had a bit of beef with Sleek when they first came on the scene over something on Facebook, I can’t quite remember what I think it was their servers not being able to handle a 50% off sale? I remember their social media staff being a bit pants and that did put me off… Brand image is SO important to me but I do love their blushers.

£9.99 for 20g

kim-kardashian-crying2

21 things to do when you’re feeling sad

kim kardashian crying2

1 – Dance around your room in just your pants to a proper cheesy 90’s playlist. Crank up the Spice Girls, blast S Club 7 and Mmmmbop all over your bed you filthy rascal.

spice girls dancing2 – Put on dramatic, daring make up you would never normally wear and take a tonne of selfies looking fierce as fuck. Upload them to Instagram and revel in all the positive, yet pervy comments.

3 – Have a hot bath, shave your legs and smother yourself in a delicious body lotion and feel like a hot bish.

4 – Scroll through Facebook and look at pictures that made you cringe at the time because you were a drunk hot mess, but look at your smile and how genuinely happy you look because you’re drunk, having a good time and give zero fucks.

beyonce crying5 – Ask yourself, what would Beyonce do if she was sad and then do that thing.

6 – Masturbate whilst watching cartoon porn. It’s both horny and hilarious (so I’ve heard). Also, an orgasm releases endorphins that make you happy so go for several rounds if you want to be smiling until the cows come home.

7 – YouTube videos of kittens being cute.

8 – Find a Nigella recipe for something delicious, go to the shop, buy all the ingredients and make it. Of course, take pictures of your creation for validation on Facebook.

mermaid9 – Watch a Disney film. Bitches love Disney films. It has to be something really cheesy, like The Little Mermaid or Cinderella. Bish, you will go to the ball.

10 – Run down the stairs topless and hold your boobs to feel them jiggle and bounce about. Instant happiness.

11 – Watch Miles Jay’s videos.

12 – Do your nails, pluck your eyebrows, dye your hair etc. and other basic grooming. Just because you feel shitty you don’t need to look shit too.

13 – Buy shoes. The higher the heel the better you’ll feel and spend as much as you want – you’ll be returning them when you feel better.

cats working out14 – Do some exercise. Going to the gym would be your best bet but if you can’t face going outside do some squats, sit ups and lunges.

15 – Tidy up. Cleaning is a great distraction and a tidy home is a tidy mind.

16 – Take a nap or go to bed early. If need be, pop a sleeping pill… Everything is always better in the morning.

17 – Febreze your mattress and change your sheets. Fresh sheets are the best and no one can be sad snuggled up in clean, fresh sheets.

18 – Bake cupcakes. Because cupcakes.

cupcake

19 – Book tickets to something fabulous with someone you don’t see often. Lastminute offer a range of cheap tickets to comedy nights, give yourself something to look forward to.

kanye west20 – Call your mum and have a good cry, mum’s make everything better, it’s their job.

21 – Remember you are fucking awesome and sometimes it’s OK to be sad.