sodo pizza cafe | honor oak park

after my big girl adventure on sunday, i was famished. so, when my flatmate nicola text me to tell me she wanted to shout me a pizza dinner for my birthday, well, i was ecstatic! so ecstatic (and preoccupied with my new addition) that i totally got on the wrong bus and didn't realise until i was about half an hour into my journey, that i was going in the wrong direction. shamefaced i hopped off-and-back-on to the very next one going in the direction i'd just come from, before fiiiinally getting on the right one to take me the full twelve minutes back to honor oak. serrrriously, i was starving.

which is just as well really that sodo (SOurDOugh) in honor oak is open on sundays. because it's not on mondays, which just happens to be the day i usually try to go there. this time though, open. open, and with a couple of seats available at the bar, because without a reservation we weren't getting into the restaurant. so, the bar was fine with me.

i ordered the home made ginger ale (sorry for the awful picture; indoor lighting is pooor quality), and the lorena pizza. the first and last other time that i'd been to sodo, i'd also ordered the lorena pizza. why not try something new this time you ask? because if it ain't broke, don't fix it, i say. the lorena is a babe; tomato base, mozzarella, buttnerut squash (emrergerrrd), rosemary, feta (stahhhp it) and pine nuts. i meeeaaan. what other option was there? (hint: all of these options)

the dry ginger ale was suuuuper gingery. and not in a very nice or refreshing way. it was so gingery that i just could not drink it. i like a bit of ginger, me, but this was like... burning my throat because it was so tangy. man, i really could have done with a diet coke. unforts, the only fizzy option was this ginger malarky. never again. heed my warning, kids. heed it well.

but the pizza? eurgh. i don't have the words. there's something magical about more than one type of cheese on a pizza, amiright? add to that the supreme taste sensation that is butternut squash and rosemary together in any single way, and sprinkle that then with deliciously salty bursts of pine nuts and...

you guys it was really good okay.

and the best part is that for two massive pizzas, one gross ginger explosion and one crafty beer for the tri-athlete flatmate (who nailed a new pb on sunday, thanks for asking!), we dined for less than £25. that is rare. for it to be cheap and delicious? on to a winner. if you live in or near honor oak, clapton or hoxton, you're one lucky son of a bitch. go forth and eat, my friends!

w.i.w.t | how to wear : bubblegum pink (part one)

you guys know i am a pink girl. like, all year 'round, i'll be rocking the pink; not just on wednesdays either, like, all the time. i firmly believe that pink is a colour for all seasons, you just have to do it right. that's why there are different shades of colours, so you can pair them with other shades of things and make things more wearable. honest.

so, when challenged by the guys over at vouchercodes uk to show just how wearable bubblegum pink can be for a/w, well, i wasted no time re-shopping my wardrobe (and a couple high-street stores if i'm honest, with good reason) to show you lot just how easy (and affordable) it would be to inject the bright colour this autumny/wintery season.

jumper + skirt : h&m* | dress : select* | bag : t-mart* | shoes : new look | boots : primark

first up is this incredible jumper i picked up at h&m for less than a tenner. i think officially it was like £7.99 or something silly like that, which is a total bargain. you lot know i love a jumper in the winter, and so with this wee pink knit i was able to add a splash of colour to my darker and more muted autumnal pieces, without going too crazy overboard with colour, and keeping both outfits still very seasonal.

the addition of the multi-pastel body bag really draws the bright out of the jumper too, and harnesses the muted colours in the rest of the outfit. (i especially love this bag because of the many pastel colours in it mean it will go with oh-so many things!) so, my top tip for wearing a bubblegum pink jumper this a/w is to make sure you don't overdo it on the rest of the ensemble. the jumper should compliment your outfit and be the hero piece, so make sure you don't take its thunder away with other bright colours or patterns.

dress : yumi* | scarf : new look* | jacket : just jeans | shoes : primark | satchel : asos

now, if you're not sure you can rock a bright pink jumper, then the next best way to incorporate the bubblegum pink trend is through your accessories. this tartan scarf is an excellent addition to my wardrobe, and at less than fifteen quid, a steal too. it's massive - blanketesque, and wraps around my scrawny neck a couple of times too, making me extra warm. the other bright colours running through the tartan really mean this bad boy will likely go with everything too, making this incredible wearable this season.

if you're still not convinced you're ready to jump on board the bubblegum band wagon, consider starting small with a pink bag. i know a couple of girls who are major wear-all-the-black players who could really afford to inject a litte bit of colour into their wardrobes, and i reckon a bright bag is the best way to do it without straying too far from comfort. obviously a cambridge satchel is an investment piece, but with the right asos discount code you can still nab yourself a bargain, ladies!

so, it's a no brainer that i'll be wearing my pinks right through this a/w season, but...
will you? tell me what you think of these tips!

*this post was written in collaboration with vouchercodes uk*

who's a big girl?

1. pink perfection; a perfectly made, albeit slightly droopy, pink velvet cake as made by the baker extraordinaire that is my boss, laura. it tasted as good as it looks, and there was more than enough to go around the office on friday - my work birthday. 2. a special birthday delivery; my gay husband dan, all the way in australia had - earlier than day, written me a lovely facebook message to celebrate my birthday, and then was wonderful enough to have a huge bouquet of flowers, balloons, wine and chocolates delivered to my office too! so much for keeping that number a secret!

3. pinkspiration; the wonderful blooms that were sent to the office earlier than day were a sign from the birthday gods, that what i had planned for my weekend...4. a wonderful surprise; a week pink parcel awaited my arrival home from work on friday, full to the brim with lovely pink treats (and sequined confetti!) from my sparkle sister, miss west end girl! 5. the prequel to a birthday lunch; a portuguese custard tart before my main course, all thanks to the best boss a girl could ask for.

6. midnight feast; what better way to watch the clock tick over into your thirties than with a tiny tray of delux yourself. 7. domestic abuse; a fifty minute abusive relationship with my masseuse nadia resulted in a messy up-do and a very, very tender back. happy birthday, bitch! 8. egg-cellent choice; dinner in mayfair with some classy birds, then intergalactic bathrooms that keep you guessing who might be behind you. 9. trainies; one for the road? don't mind if i do.

10. you guys, i did the thing. i've been thinking about the thing for months. like, for ages. i've always wanted one, but always just been too damn terrified to get one. scared of the pain, scared they'd mess up and i'd hate it, scared i'd not like it afterwards. scared of my mum. well, to hell with being scared! i wanted to do something for me this birthday, and so i made the booking. ronnie is a friend of a friend, and while dee was here, she had something done by him too, so i knew i was in safe hands.

i was super nervous. like, beyond belief. ronnie had drawn the picture up on trace paper for when i arrived, and it was perfect. a little too big for the area, but once resized, just perfect. the stencil went on, i was calm. calm calm calm. totally not calm. my insides were shaking, my palms were sweaty, but there was no going back. it had to happen.

and... before you even ask, yes. it sucked so bad. it's totally not awesome, at all. the pain is painful, but not in a way that was ever unbearable. it was totally bearable. but it was not good. the whole thing took about 90 mins i guess, and the last half was a breeze. i suppose i was used to it by that point, and would only wince every now and then. the first half though? pretty much sheer grimmacing. the good thing is, it's only a small amount of time that the pain is there, before he stops, and wipes, and starts again. so there's respite. had it been continual, then nope. no goddamn way.

he was also dead against making her pink. "but it's me!" i cried. he didn't know what that meant, but i convinced him, and here we are. he'd never done a pink rose in all his years tattooing, so i feel pretty special to have been the first (and probably most annoying ever). he even said after the fact that he was stoked with how it turned out, and maybe he'd reconsider pink in the future! i'm happy knowingt i have one of ronnie's orginals on me.

this birthday has been a long time coming. 
it's finally here. 
it's done. 
and i couldn't be happier.

flirty thirty

today is my thirtieth birthday, but last weekend was the day i'll remember celebrating my birthday. for weeks, rebekah had been planning a surprise day for me, and i only knew what i had to know in advance. like, to be free that day, and to be in a certain place at a certain time. a few days before the big day, the rules changed a little to include, "meet me at my house at one now, and we'll be making a pick up at liverpool street before we leave for the 'thing' at four"... 

dee and i struggled to get anywhere for one because the overground was not running as per, but when we fell through her apartment door just before two, i fell right into three helium balloons emblazened with "thirty and fab!" written on them... and pink champagne and an array of finger foods waiting for us. pre drinks at their finest!

we sat and chatted and drank bubbly for about an hour or so, before it was time to go and collect the thing from liverpool street station...the 'thing' that ended up being kim from what peggy said! rebekah had been sneakily crafty behind my back and invited my bested blogging buddy down to the big smoke to help celebrate my big day with me, and all without me knowing!

with kim on board, we jumped on the tube and headed west. i was still none the wiser about where we were going or what the actual plan was, with with giant pink balloons and chatty catch ups on the tube and the five of us dolled up to the nines, we surely got a fair bit of attention.

twenty minutes later, we were at paddington station. i joked that maybe we were going to swindon. everybody laughed, but i did wonder if that was actually the plan. not that it would have been a problem, just... i knew we had plans later that night at a specific time, and wondered how we'd get to swindon and back in that short amount of time... but no! we walked a few minutes along the canal, and suddenly it all pieced together...

we were going on a canal boat ride! i was ushered into the union bar along the bank where, lo and behold! another seven of my friends had gathered to surprise me! friends that aren't actually friends with each other, or really know each other - or rebekah, and she'd managed to get eleven of my best mates - from far and wide into one pub, and eventually, on to a boat in north london.

girlfriend is incredible.

the boat was super pretty. she was called the 'lady a', and captain mike was the guy in charge for the day. after the house rules and basic safety junk, we were off. while we puttered through the canals, we dined on many a pink snack and loads of pink wine, laughing, giggling and waving at the locals, the diners on the banks, and generally chatted with mike. we we headed to camden when all of a sudden we hit a snag; there was a boat stuck in the tunnel we needed to use to get there. in actual fact, there was a floating bookshop stuck in the tunnel we needed to use to get there.

we had cars meeting us in camden to make it to our next stop on time, so this small hitch in the plan sent rebekah and lp into re-planning mode; the re-booking of cars commenced while mike backed us up, back the way we'd just come from, so the canal-rescue team could swoop in and save the book shop from a potential watery death. what a saga!

once our hour was up and we found our cars, we were whisked away to our next event; mnusical bingo! now, i won't go on about this because you've read all about one or two times before, but i will say this: these club nights are the best nights of my life. every time. honestly, from the minute we walk in the door til the point we rush out scrambling for the tube, i don't stop dancing, singing, laughing. it's so much bloody fun, and i absolutely loved spending another quality night out, but this time with eleven of my favourite people. if you ever get the chance to go, go.

so, if this is thirty, then... christ. it's pretty bloody awesome.

so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu

day three in salzburg was yet another stunner. it was rumoured to make it to the high twenties, and after the day we'd had before, we were prepared for the sun; sandals and sundresses the whole way. it was our last day in salzburg, and so we'd planned to take a trip into town, for a walking tour around the city. we met our group at mozart's square, before heading off on our hour-long city walk.

our first stop was the salzburg museum where - out the front - was a beautiful sunflower exhibition with over 100 flowers of different heights and sizes, each searching for the sun's rays. they were so pretty and huuuuge, and had even huger bees buzzing around trying to eat all of the pollen. or, whatever it is bees do again? pollenate? what?

i wish  i could remember more about the tour. like the piece of info about the bell tower... maybe i'll google it the bell tower in the neue residenz plays every day at 7am, 11am and 6pm, and plays a rotation of around forty of mozart's pieces of work for the public and tourists in the square. our tour started at 12:15, so we completely missed out on hearing them play. what a shame we found that out on the day we were leaving the city...

we wandered through the new town, learning about the once-salt-but-now-tourism trade, admiring the people of salzburg in their traditional clothing (our guide martina told us she chooses to dress that way because it's more comfortable than 'modern clothes' in her opinion!), and wandered down into saint peter's cemetery and catacombs below the walls of the fortress.

d'ya remember the part of 'the sound of music' where the von trapp's shuffle off into the night after singing some songs to a bunch of nazis, and thus begins their dash into the snowy alps? and they hid for a bit in a cemetery until that stupid nazi boy rolfe blew his stupid whistle and alerted the other nazi's to their whereabouts? yes! this cemetery! and it's sooooo pretty and serene and spooky and pretty!

we walked through the archway and out into the main square, and into a shitload of tourists. why were all these people taking photos in front of a fancy looking spar? well probably because just left of the spar was this giant yellow building you see above. the building otherwise known as mozart's birthplace... or, at least where he lived for a short period of his life before moving away to vienna.

and with that, was the end of the tour. i mean, it was an hour and there was loads of info given, i just... was so absorbed with the scenery and the crisp air and the wonderful architecture and everything else that the city had to offer that my 9euro city tour was just a bit... of a non event. we'd walked and seen all the things anyway, but it was nice to hear first hand why all the things are important to the city that so many people visit every year.

after that we headed back to the hotel to grab our bags, check out and hit the road. we were vienna bound, and due to catch a train. laden with sausages and fruit and wine and diet coke and all the necessary travel snacks we boarded and arrived about two hours later.

more on that another day...