w.i.w.t | to market, to market

when i saw my internet girl crush, erika (narcissism), instagram this picture of these incredible ankle boots from asos,* i knew i had to have them. they're so *not me* and yet, for some reason, i was drawn to them, and so later that day, they became mine. it's also worth noting that they were an incredible £21 down from and original £60, and that, my friends, is *very me*.

i've wondered to what to wear them with. they're snake skin, and most of my stuff is polka dot, or floral, or pink - at the very least. they deserve something muted so that they are the centre of attention. so, after spending saturday cleaning out my wardrobe and palming some stuff off to charity, i found a black skater dress (similar to pic) that hangs mostly unworn except for when i am having an off day, and forget who i am. it's kind of the perfect thing for these shoes though, and so i decided that i would wear the above outfit to renegade on sunday.

but then, it rained. like, non-stop rained. but, i'd already made this mood board and i wanted to share it because... it was raining and i didn't wear the shoes.

you needed to see the shoes.

snapshots | brighton, sussex

last weekend rebekah and i found ourselves in brighton for the continuum of #gigvember. getting to brighton was somewhat of a challenge though. with train disruptions from my home station, and engineering works on the brighton line meaning a replacement bus from three bridges, a trip that normally takes and hour and a half total, took me just over three hours. it was... not ideal. 

but, when we got into our stifling hot hotel room, complete with a sea view, after a £5 cab ride from the station, the fun times began. we dumped our bags, took some local recommendations from local instagrammers, and hit the colourful streets, cautious we were losing the afternoon light pretty quickly.

first stop was grubbs burgers, for what we were told were the best burgers in the world. a massive call, because i am a burger fiend. well... as much as i love paying less than a fiver for a burger and fries, not to mention the fact there were over ten different and varying types of burgers on offer, sadly, the burger itself was merely something akin to what you buy in the frozen section and pop in the microwave. i guess it was fresher than that, but you get the picture.

there was a lot of hype, and a huge reputation, for a place with nothing but word of mouth advertising (not even a website), so we had to at least try it. can'at say i'd recommend it on. but then again, apparently i have terrible taste in burgers (five guys are easily a top three for me). i did not enjoy, but it was a tick off the old brighton burger bucket list. on the way back to the room we grabbed some wine and snacks (it was about 4pm that we'd eaten, and we were heading out to the gig later) to tide us over, and some breakfast for the morning, and then kick started our night before the show (more on that in the week!).

after devouring all the breakfast food, making use of the tepid shower and checking out of the hottest room on earth, we headed to the pier - where else would we go! the clouds off in the distance were pretty grey, but it was a fairly bright day. we changed up some coins and hit the penny machines and the skill testers, hoping to win the big one! sadly, it wasn't meant to be...there were churros at least.

we had a wander of the fair ground, but at that point it had started to rain and the wind coming off the ocean was biting, so... soon enough we gave in to hunger pangs and headed in search of proper food. we had another burger joint to check out before our departure: burger brothers!

sadly, burger brothers turned out to be a hole in the wall with twenty-odd people falling out of the doors, all wanting their gourmet burger fix. the crowd of this one was more reassuring of the previous, but were were simply not prepared to wait in the rain outside a pretty... crap looking take away shop. burger bros will have to wait for the next trip, i think.

lukcy for us, directly opposite the take away shop was a cleverly titled restaurant that seemed to just sort of, call out to us: burgers and cocktails! there's this feeling you get in london when you walk into any restaurant on a sunday, and there are no customers already inside. it's a weird one; like, is this place so crap that no-one comes here, or, is this place so incredibly amazing that no-one has come here yet? well, i suppose that's only a london feeling, because there was no-one in there, and it was lunch time. and  yet, the staff seemed nonplussed that we were in there.

we ordered our food, and - thankful for the lack of customers, didn't have to wait long. the burgers were good, that's for sure. better than grubbs, definitely, but... still not top three. the sweet potato fried definitely were though, so there's that. with bellies full, and bodies tired, we headed to the train station to check the status of our train. with the engineering works on going, we decided to forfeit the quicker yet more annoying option of the rail replacement bus, and jumped on the slow train back to victoria... two and a half hours later, we were home. ish.

then there was the rest. but, that's just london, innit.

renegade craft fair at the old truman brewery

i headed out on sunday - despite the bloody awful weather, and made my way to the old truman brewery for this year's renegade craft fair. i've been a couple times now, and each time i look forward to seeing the designers and makers i've followed on instagram for what seems like forever, selling their wares in the flesh. i always know i'll come back with a handful of business cards and instagram handles and etsy shop names to check out when i get home, and i know, i just know, that i will always miss out on finding something excellent.

i found some of the notonthehighstreet regulars - hello harriet, oh no rachio! (i finally snapped up a totes! tote from rachel) and ladybird likes, but sadly missed out on seeing a favourite laser cut jewellery designer/maker of mine, kim from finest imaginary. i did however discover a new favourite shop this weekend - and smile, run by pink-haired viktorija. a couple of her adorable hand drawn and painted brooches were snapped up for christmas present, but it wasn't until i got home that i realised she'd popped a little surprise in the bag for me! officially a new favourite, purely for the customer experience element.

i was only in the hall for less than an hour before i'd had enough. the crowds, the cold, my nose constantly running.. there was a lot to see, but sadly nothing i hadn't seen there last year. i suspect i need to broaden my indie designer/maker circle, and find some new artists to follow.

which are your favourite shops or makers to follow on instagram?
share them below.

struggling this morning? here, read this. you're welcome.

ilumi | week [whatever] update

if you've been reading about my ilumi journey, then you're basically up to speed with my plight. if you're only catching up now, you can read the original post and the first update to get better acquainted. what i really need to let you now right now is how busy i've been this week. it's made it really hard to stick to the meal plan, because i have been out a lot for dinner. i honestly don't know how any (single people anyway) one in london sticks to any kind of diet, with all the socialising that needs to be done to shape some sort of social life.

anyway, the plan was to eat the meal plan during the week and then eat what i want at the weekend. while in brighton, we mostly ate burgers. i went out with charlotte on tuesday, and mostly ate burgers and drank wine. at the gaslight anthem gig on wednesday, mostly beer. at taste of london, mostly... well, everything. so it's been a hard week to stick to anything, really. especially when my new egg poacher arrived last week and all i wanted to do was make eggandbaconallthethings...

...do you know... i don't know how to poach an egg. so i got an egg poacher (you know, like a fry pan type thing with egg cups atop that i assume the egg goes in?) to help me. except, i have no actual idea how to use the egg poacher. there were no instructions on the literature. do the manufacturers at british lion eggs just assume that everyone knows how to use a contraption such as this? well, i don't (as an aside, while googling just what to do with it, i fell down a wikipedia black hole, and found out how many calories in an egg. honestly, the more you know; i had no idea they were so low in calories, because of how everyone goes on about the cholesterol content! i digress...), and now i can't have eggandbaconallthethings until someone learns me how to do the thing. ugh!

another point to note (not about eggs, thank fully) is that when i ordered my 28 day supply of ilumi foods, i didn't really... aim for variety. laura at work is doing the meal plan too, and every day she has something new and tasty sounding. i have... basically the same five meals. which is totally ok, because they're all really tasty, but... the same five meals every week is... a bit boring. so if you've what i was eating during the last week, chances are, that's what i've been eating this week. just with more added burgers.

things to note: i don't seem to be reacting to the ingredients the way i was in the first week, thankfully. i have, however, become increasingly more unwell. does that even make sense? increasingly more unwell? whatever, sick. head coldy. mum thinks possibly the lack of 'real food' - i.e. greens and such, have deteriorated my immune system. even though i have been eating greens with my meals when i can, she'e probably right. also: i don't really eat that much gluten normally, so it's not a gluten intolerance that makes me uncomfortable of a meal time. know what it might be? overeating. the portion control has left me 'satisfied', if not 'full', and i think this means i've been overeating; eating until i hurt, not eating until i'm satisfied.

what a revelation to make at thirty, huh.

snapshots | day two in oslo

day two started out with an early hangover, and an extra-super expensive breakfast from the world's most reliably expensive coffee shop. we took our drinks to go and wandered slowly back up the way we'd stumbled home the night before, headed for the capital's key tourist hot spots; first stop was the national theatre and parliament house, a mere ten minute walk from the hotel. handy! 

we then wandered up to the royal palace, and had ourselves a wee impromptu photo shoot amongst the prettiest yellow leaves we'd ever seen (sorry not sorry for all the leaf porn... it was all just so damn pretty!). the guards at the palace are not as professional as ours here in london, and were also very specific about how close you could get to their posts... grumpy guard is grumpy! displeased with the clear lack of joy among those in service to the royals, we blew raspberries at them, and went on our way.

from there, we headed to the fjord. shame about the weather, because with all the low cloud and rain, we could barely see two metres in front of our faces. gutting really, as we'd planned to do a fjord tour after hearing such great things about it from friends who have been before (in the summer, i might add)... oh well, harden up, so they say.

we bought our tickets and went off to kill some time in the fortress until our departure time. once out on the fjord... freezing. absolutely freezing. and wet, let's not dismiss how utterly wet it was. and, we had the company of some incredibly loud italians who wouldn't shut the eff up long enough for us to be able to hear a damn thing that was being said by the tour guide. the tour lasted two of your great norwegian hours. an hour and a bit in, we went inside. yep - there was an inside. did i not mention that? oh. initially we sat outside thinking we'd see more. *staring face emoji* we didn't.

once back on solid ground, we headed for vigeland sculpture park, as pretty much everyone who knew we were headed to oslo told us to go there. their exact recommendation was "you have to go to that weird sculpture park while you're there," so naturally, we did. i honestly don't think that "weird sculpture park" really gives this place justice... i mean, from the website: "vigeland park is a result of one man's artistic obsession and a lifetime of work dedicated to the human form. the park contains 212 (!?!??!!) bronze and granite sculptures created by norwegian sculpture gustav vigeland."

it's a sight to behold, that's for sure. i mean, there are hardly words to describe. we wandered, not quite sure why, around the park for probably far too long, before we decided to retire to our warm room for some recharge and to debrief from our weird day. when hunger called, we headed across the road to the infamous illegal burger where we continued the tradition of not eating norwegian food. although i suppose food that is famous in norway counts as norwegian food? well, in this case it must.