london | kopparberg urban forest

on saturday i braved the mid-morning heat (21* at 8am? just stop) and headed east, for a day of fun in the sun at the kopparberg urban forest in hackney wick. it was ani's birthday, and the sun was shining, and despite the epic travel disruptions in my neck of the woods, there was nothing i would rather have been doing than catching up with some of faves, and drinking chilled cider under an urban tree; i'd woken up to a truly beautiful day, i'd had a terrific lay in that morning, and i was feeling good.

the urban forest is a short stroll from hackney wick overground, and i'd arrived about half an hour before everyone else so i was able to have a walk around and check out what was on offer; there were about four bars there - all well stocked with kopparberg's favourite flavours, as well as some frozen cocktails, and some yum-sounding food vans. we would survive for hours, so long as there was enough loo roll and trees for shade.

within hours though, the garden was heaving. i asked at the gate and the bouncer confirmed that we were at about half capacity. there were 400 people there, and no way to move without banging into someone else. they'd run out of ice. the line for the loo was about 40-girls (no line for the boys, obvs) deep and there was no toilet roll left. there was nowhere to sit except on the floor. it's just as well that the floor is my ideal place to sit when it's nine hundred degrees out and the only shade is under the roof-top garden, directly next to (on) the dance floor, and riiiight in the way of the biggest bar.

when it was time to eat, we started with a jerk chicken salad from mama's jerk station, and i finished  the food adventure with half a serve of chicken wings with blue sauce from buffalo joe's; earler in day i'd tried their super insanely hot sauce that blew my freaken mind - and not in a good way, so the blue cheese was evidently the better option. absolutely delicious! 10/10 would recommend.

by about five pm we'd had enough of the completely over-crowded space and lack of deluxe amenities (read: hand wash and loo roll), so decided to head next door to crate brewery for something other than cider, and to get involved with their incredible pizza options. we hung out by the canal for an hour or so, cooling down with the fresh breeze off the water, and thankfully there were only about a quarter of the amount of people having the same idea as us. 

once we'd moved inside for pizza, the bar was definitely more heaving than when we'd arrived; we'd scored a great position inside both the front and back doors that proved to be excellent engineering by us, because the breeze that ran through there was just perfect. i hung around for a good couple of hours, before throwing the towel in around 8 o'clock. with an hour journey in front of me, and a chinese and twenty hundred episodes of love island calling my name, it was definitely time to call it a well and truly hot and done day. 

i was pink of arm and tender to the touch, and well and truly knackered. it was a top day though, and the forest was so incredibly packed with a line around the block as i walked past, so we were very lucky to have been there as early in the day as we were. the forest is open wednesday to sunday july 12th, so if you have a chance, get down there and some cider into ya!

reading, baby!

arrrgh i am so excited! bex and i finally did the thing; we've just gone and booked reading festival in for the august bank holiday weekend! we've been talking about it for so long - especially because some of my "must see before i die" bands are playing, but after my disappointing weekend at hyde park, it was definitely time and make some musical amends.

we left it a little late for like, super cheap accommodation, but - because there's no bloody way i'm getting anywhere near a tent that's not selling booze or food, bex managed to find something pretty central in reading, at a reasonable (albeit pretty last minute) price, which puts all the weekend campers' crusty camping crap holes to shame. yay for her and her currenlt unemployment status!
who am i most looking forward to seeing? so pleased you asked. first and foremost, limp bizkit. having missed them in about one hundred different scenarios of the last 15 years, i can fiiiinally tick them off my gig bucket list. chocolate starfish was one of those 'gateway albums' for me that took me from teenage 'pop-rock' (for lack of a better term; i haaaate labels) to my late-teen pop-punk appreciation, through to the hardcore and alternative rock 'stuff' that i'm into these days. god bless old freddy and that red cap - absolute game changer.

then there's some faves from the best years of my life; simple plan, new found glory and panic! at the disco were some of my favourite bands when i was learning how to be an adult, figuring out how to deal with emotions, hanging out in skate parks and driving recklessly to impress boys. a massive fan of simple plan since before they were hanging out with the olsens in 'a new york minute', and even once paid to see them open for green day, then left before green day came on. true fan, me. new found glory are - to this day, one of my favourite bands. i've seen them play so many times now - i many a line up, and so that's going to be incredible. panic! for me are like, an extension of fall out boy, who were (again), one of the first bands to really like, open my mind to something other than the backstreet boys (god, how much do i love the backstreet boys!); i've seen fall out boy onceeee, a long time ago, but never panic. it's going to be greeeeeat.

a couple of new favourites that have really swayed the friday line up for me are mariachi el bronx, the smith street band, american football, and modern baseball. thanks to a couple of new friends i've made this year, i've been recommended a lot of awesome and new-to-me music. mike made me a playlist recently, and on it was mariachi el bronx. now, confession time: i love mariachi music. absolutely love it. that, and bluegrass; i just love music that offers something a bit different, so when i first heard them on the playlist, it was love. when i saw them on the bill for friday, i was sold.

the smith street band was another of mike's recommendations that i really liked what i'd heard, and american football and modern baseball are two strong recs from little shaun, who clearly likes sports related bands. all amazing bands, and totally excited to be able to see them all on top of an already-incredible line up.

i am so excited, and only a couple of months to wait!

bitch-a-long bloggers + musical blongo

one of the biggest perks of this blogging lark is the mates you make along the way. being a blogger means you've kind of automatically got access to this amazing group of people, who - if you're really lucky, share the same weird interests as you. so when your interests extend to loving teen movies from the mid-2000s, eating barbecued meat, and participating in organised musical fun, and you find a bunch of people - bloggers or not, who also share those interests and will actively participate in the celebrating of those kinds of things with you, mid week, two nights in a row, well, that's when you can call yourself truly spoiled.

that is exactly what happened to me last week; on wednesday, charlie, katy, rebekah, ani and i joined forces for some incredible bodeans bbq'ed meat action before heading along to what can only ever be described as "the best night of my life". if you're a london local, you'll know all about the prince charles cinema and it's bitch/quote/sing-a-long events. well, colour me excited a few months back when i'd discovered their mean girls bitch-a-long was next happening on a freaken wednesday night! i put a call out, collected my favourites together, and we went ahead and did the thing. and it was so pink, and so good!

i don't want to spoil it for those of you who might want to go still, but it was *awesome*. there was a burn book for us to slag off our mates, we had our very own damian (who was too gay to function) to welcome us to the event with a song, a round of "it was one time!", and then it was on with the show. with rules to adhere to, and the encouragement to quote along as much or little as we liked, katy and i set our minds to reciting the whole thing. and we did, you know! it was so good, 10/10 would go again.

despite getting in close to midnight on wednesday, come thursday morning i had to force myself out of bed and into the shower, as i had to do it all over again. this time, a bunch of us were planning a jaunt out to help the musical bingo lads and ladies celebrate their eighth birthday, at concrete in shoreditch. you all know i am no stranger to musical bingo as it is, but give me another reason to go, and i am 100% not going to turn it down.

we kicked off at pizza east, upstairs from the venue, where i had the misfortune of ordering a terribly dull and flavourless kwin-oah (as the waitress pronounced it) and sweet potato salad. having had a masssssisve lunch that day, i was in no mood for a pizza, but that salad made me despair. i should have had a pizza. i would have felt validated at spending that money, if i'd had a pizza. the pizzas, you guys...

i had popped to tesco and grabbed the fixings of an amazing birthday donut-cake for the guys, so after we'd made that into something presentable, we headed in for the show. we even won a few rounds! i say "we", but as we all know, i never win, so the props very rightly go to charlie and katy who actually ~did do the winning. we didn't win the overall prize (a bbq!) though, but.. fun was had by all, and it was another verrry late night for this increasingly-old lady.

come friday, i was absolutely knackered, and had well and truly deserved an early night and mammoth sleep in. in fact, both days over the weekend were well-slept, which is always a great way to spend the weekend, wouldn't you say?

wishlist | black + gold

it was as i was "saving stuff for later" - after the sale sneak peek and promo code landed in my inbox on sunday morning, that i started to notice somewhat of a trend to my choices; there was a lot of black options. and also a lot of yellow options. and after my festival outfit on saturday, i wondered if my brain had somehow done some sort of decision making without me being present. 

while i am a big fan of black tights (so comfy! so slimming! so sucky-inny!), i don't 'do' a lot of black in any other areas. maybe a couple of black-ish dresses (patterned, obvs), a couple (lots) of black boots, and now even a pair of black shoes - but usually, no, not a lot of black. so when i'd added the pretty watch, another pair of mel's that i don't need, the fruity purse and finally the polka dot bag, i had to stop and asses my life choices. are black accessories my new jam?

then i noted the dresses i'd added; both ~very yellow. i currently own one mustard dress, one mustard top, one neon yellow pair of heels, and one lemon yellow bag - that is the extent of the yellow in my wardrobe, so... why all of a sudden am i gagging to own all of the yellow? the sun cannot be to blame, as i have barely seen it so far this summer. whatever the reason, i feel excited about adding a new hue to my wardrobe. 

does that sounds ridiculous? good. it was meant to. this post is pointless.
bye - off to buy all the things!

w.i.w.t | festival fun

skirt : new look | sandals : primark | lace top : monki | floral crown : primark | belt : thrifted

how about that tan, eh? don't think you see it - just check out my pasty white and totally toned abs for evidence that i do get whiter the deeper under the layers you go. that's what a couple of days poolside in portugal, then one day wandering the cobbled lanes of york will get you, because ~trust me, i did not pick that "colour" up in london. although i may have added to it slightly on saturday at b(u)st  at hyde park, while waiting eagerly for tay tay to come out and disappoint me forever.

saturday morning i got a text from bex like, "what you wearing today?" and i had honestly not even thought about it. i really wanted to wear my new yumi dress, but it's a bit long and pretty and fancy, and i didn't really want to get it all gross and trodden on and so, i literally had no idea. it was hotttt already at 11, and we weren't meeting until after four, so i was ~sure it would cool down some by then, so put the decision making off for a little while longer.

when it became apparent that it just was ~not going to get any cooler, and the sun was planning to stay, i fretted. i wasn't keen on wearing tights and boots - i knew that would be too hot. i don't get my legs out, like - ever, and at the moment, i don't have too many maxi dresses that actually fit. anxiously, i tore open my 'stuff from last summer' drawer to asses what i owned, versus what still fit.

i saw the pop of yellow (it's kinda not quite mustard but in reality it's less orange) and thought - yes! loose fitting, lightweight, and totally summery, that was going to work just nicely. i then grabbed for my plain black maxi and finding it also a little long for a day avoiding dirt and people's feet and other such grossness on the ground, gave it a few rolls at the waist and stuck my favourite belt over the top, instantly taking it from maxi to midi length; still covering all the white of the legs, but giving me much more room to move. happy days!

because i'm a basic human, and because i am still having hand-related hair woes, i obviously chose a floral crown. i love that this one is elasticated because it means i can tuck little bits of loose hair up into it and keep the fly-aways at bay. plus, it's almost the same colour as my hair and so it's quite the hair piece, hah. finished the whole lot off with my fave snakeskin sandals; a bargain from primark at £4, i have a back up pair of these and also a tan pair, because i love a bargain - especially when they're comfy.

i was comfy, cool and colorful; the three most important factors of dressing for summer. agree?