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Remember Us To Life

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Regina Spektor is officially back and I couldn’t be happier!

It has been four years since the singer-songwriter released What We Saw From the Cheap Seats and much to my dismay she hasn’t graced one of London’s stages in what feels like forever!

Now we have an album and tour to look forward to!kubo1

Spektor is playing one of my favourite venues, the Southbank’s Royal Festival Hall on 14th and 15th November (there are still tickets for the 15th available here!), and Remember Us To Life is released September 30th.

Plus not only has the album’s opening track Bleeding Heart been released, but so has a beautiful cover of The Beatles’ While My Guitar Gently Weeps which is featured on the soundtrack for the upcoming  film Kubo and the Two Strings – both available to listen on Spotify now!

 

To celebrate, here are a selection of my favourite Regina songs including her new single:

Never mind your bleeding heart

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God when they’re starving or freezing or so very poor

If I kiss you where it’s sore
Will you feel better, better, better
Will you feel anything at all

This is how it works
You’re young until you’re not
You love until you don’t
You try until you can’t
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

I’m the hero of the story
Don’t need to be saved

And finally a combination of my favourite piano players of all time:

I wanna ask you –
Do you ever sit and wonder,
It’s so strange
That we could be together for
So long, and never know, never care
What goes on in the other one’s head?

 

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Poppy Loves Book Club

Poppy Loves Book Club

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A month before being admitted to hospital I joined a book club.

I’ve always wanted to join one, to broaden my taste in books and have a good discussion about the book after (over a glass of wine or two of course).

I’d suggested creating one with my two closest friends but one of them takes an age to read a short book due to never finding the time to read and the other reads far quicker than me! I thought it would be a great opportunity to get the three of us together at least once a month which is shockingly hard to do with our busy lifestyles. But alas I’ll have to find another way!

Anyway, by chance I found Poppy Loves Book Club:

Poppy Loves Book Club sees women all over the world reading the same book at the same time and then coming online together on Facebook, with the author, to discuss it.

Not only can you get involved in the global online community, but you can also join local branches of the club which are situated all over. There happened to be one local to me in Bethnal Green and I took the leap and signed up.

The first meeting is end of this month and I’m both nervous and excited to meet my fellow East End book lovers.

We are going to discuss both June’s book Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll and July’s book Curtain Call by Anthony Quinn which I’m still reading. My review of Luckiest Girl Alive can be found below:

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

My first Poppy Loves Book Club book and Knoll’s first novel Luckiest Girl Alive became a New York bestseller which in my option is a thoroughly deserved accolade.

The plot kept me guessing all the way through and I was constantly trying to decide if I liked complicated lead protagonist Ani FaNelli, who is a woman with many faces.

Without spoilers, Knoll handles sensitive subject matters with precision and ties a part of her own personal past trauma into the story – an incredibly brave thing to do.

The story takes the reader through unexpected twists and turns and for once, I hadn’t predicted the ending – making it a perfect holiday read.

Some critics have unfairly compared the book to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl which I can only imagine is due both books having a female author and thrilleresque/mystery plot, and though I agree the book isn’t as strong as Gone Girl, it certainly stands alone as a modern entertaining read.

****

(4/5 stars)

 

A step back.

A step back.

Sometimes life throws a spanner in the works, and two weeks ago that’s exactly what happened.

For reasons still unknown to me, my lower spine has an inflammation and the swelling is sitting on my nerves which is making most of my lower body numb!

I thought I’d done something at the gym (yes I actually joined a gym, that’s how far I was willing to go to become HEALTHIER this year), but when nothing got better, and it started affecting my ability to walk, I went to A&E.

I spent a whole week in hospital! After numerous tests including MRI’s and a lumber puncture (a procedure I NEVER want to experience again!), I am now recovering at home. I have been signed off work for THREE weeks and having physio to strengthen my legs (which hurt after minimal movement) and learn to walk normally again.

This was the year I decided to embrace the second half of my twenties, get stuck into new experiences, focus on my career, health, relationships. It’s amazing how something out of your hands can shake things up!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining – I’m extremely lucky. I don’t have a life threatening illness, I only had to spend one week in hospital while patients on my ward were visiting for their regular treatment, and I should make a full recovery – but the whole thing has really scared me. Something was going on inside my body without any cause of my own and I wouldn’t have known about it without going to hospital. Now I can’t stop thinking about my friends and family – what’s going on inside their bodies?

I’m also still in a period of unknowing, as at this stage they don’t know if this could happen again. And if tests suggest it could, I could have MS.

I’m going to try and take the time out as a gift, try and stop freaking out and reflect on the future. Hey I’ll have more time to update this! And do things like read! But I am worried anxiety is going to steal focus…watch this space.

 

 

Gatsby’s Garden

Gatsby’s Garden

“IN HIS BLUE GARDENS, GIRLS CAME AND WENT LIKE MOTHS AMONG THE WHISPERINGS AND THE CHAMPAGNE AND THE STARS.”

– F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

During my spare time I love to trawl through Pinterest Wedding boards, I’m obsessed with the newest styles and always looking for something fresh and a little different, which is when I came across Carol Hannah’s bridal collections.

Carol Hannah Whitfield is a self taught designer living in New York whose hobby of sewing blossomed into a profession – and it’s obvious as to why.

Her designs are a combination of romance, elegance and vintage with a real focus on detail, and each collection gets bolder and more sophisticated.

The dress I came across was Pemberley from the 2013 Gatsby Collection (I love the name), a 4-ply silk crepe with hand cut lace and open back:

A useful element of the website allows you to see the gown worn by real brides like Aäna who gives us a glimpse of her picturesque rural wedding in Minnesota wearing Pemberley:

 

I then moved onto her latest collection 2016’s Siren collection:

“I MUST BE A MERMAID. I HAVE NO FEAR OF DEPTHS AND A GREAT FEAR OF SHALLOW LIVING.”

 -ANAIS NIN’

Which includes showstoppers like Dynamene, an Iridescent silk sequin tiered gown in Mist:

CAROL HANNAH BRIDAL

And Naia a rose gold sequined skirt with blousy silk crinkle georgette top and
leather macrame strapping (I am huge fan of separates):

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New York Bridal Fashion Week: Naia

I can’t wait to see whats in store for the 2017 collection…

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First Dance

 

Tom Odell - Wrong Crowd

This week Tom Odell’s long awaited new album Wrong Crowd launched and it got me thinking to the many songs he has written/covered that would make perfect first dances…

  1. Grow Old With Me 

Grow old with me
Let us share what we see
And oh the best it could be
Just you and I

2. Till I Lost – this will forever be one of my favourite Tom Odell songs (though maybe a little sad for a first dance)

Just wandering town with you…Would be enough

3. Real Love (The Beatles cover)

It’s real love 

4. Video Games (Lana Del Rey cover) – Tom Odell sang this for Fearne Cotton and Jesse Wood’s wedding

It’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you
Everything I do
I tell you all the time
Heaven is a place on earth with you

FYI I love Tom Odell…

5 months…

5 months…

It’s been 5 months. Where has the time gone? Where has my blog gone…?

I started this blog at the beginning of the year with real promise, blinked and it was June. I partly blame my slow laptop which takes about an hour to turn on so I often don’t…and partly blame my work and social life which has been busier than ever recently.

I shall sum up some of the note worthy things that have happened in the last 5 months in bullet points –

  • I GOT A PROMOTION! At the beginning of the year my hope was to speak up at work and find out how I’d go about moving up in the company. Luckily, a position arose and I felt the wise thing to do would be to put myself out there, go for it. Was easier said than done…I soon realised it wasn’t a case of interviewing once more. I had to resubmit my CV then create a 20 minute presentation to present back in a weeks time to two colleagues. I was terrified. Five internal candidates, a few of which were close friends at work…I felt a mixture of emotions. To cut a long story short – I was offered a position as Account Manager! This is the year of doing scary things and even if they don’t work out – I’ve tried. This is an example of it paying off!
  • I saw Brian Wilson perform Pet Sounds at the London Palladium for the final time with my parents. Al Jardine joined him and it was a truly special night. He’s playing only once more in the UK in September at a Brighton festival, trying to persuade my better half to come with…
  • Visited the beautiful city of Sorrento for five days for a romantic getaway. The longest holiday we’ve had together as a couple in nearly seven years! It was perfect in every way. We stayed at Best Western, Hotel La Solara which had ocean views from our room. I’ve left a very complimentary trip advisor review here – it would definitely work as a honeymoon destination!

    There have been plenty of other significant moments which have torn me away from updating this blog but I will no longer let them get in the way! This is something I plan to fully commit to from now on.

    We shall see…