Wednesday, September 11, 2019

A Monthly Round Up // August.

I've never really done anything like this before. I've not sat back and reflected the month that just went past and all of the events that were in it. Although, I thought I would change that and reflect. Reflection is always good when you are trying to really make yourself and present the best version of yourself you can. I think these monthly round-ups will be more for me though as opposed to you readers. I want to see it as a way I can look back in years to come.  I would love to start a scrapbook of some relation to this and maybe that can be a goal for me in the New year.

August for me started off with a firework amount of shows, I took my boyfriend to watch Rocky Horror Picture Show. Which is unlike any theatre show he's seen before. I won't lie to you I was very nervous but it was an amazing performance and a show like I have never seen before. We saw it in Southend as well, which is amazing and wonderful that we have this venue where west end performances grace the stage.

The summer days were hot and filled with friends and laughter and little trips to the pub. I feel really blessed to have the people I do around me and really felt happy in myself for the first time in a while. I spent less time at work due to it not being very busy as it's the summer and we don't tend to have a lot of shows on which meant I had a lot of time to spend with myself.

It was then Christopher my boyfriend's birthday week. It was a very hectic week filled with fun, shows and friends. We had a game and cake night the day before his birthday and sang songs until we couldn't guess them anymore. I love that Chris and I share our special group of friends together as when we do spend time together it's better. We then spent his actual birthday in the pouring rain watching Evita at the Open Air Theatre in London. The only show I saw this month that I didn't write a review for My rocky horror show review and Les Mis is up on my blog already! This is simply for the fact of I was very disappointed with the theatre performance. I'm not one to talk negatively when it comes to shows and theatres, and I've never been to a show I have openly disliked apart from Evita. I really hope it was just the performance night we saw it, as with the rain pouring it is hard for your best foot to put across the stage. Especially when they have to stop the performance every 5 minutes to wipe the stage, it can put anybody off. 

On a more positive note, at the end of the week, we met up with my brother and his mother to watch the Les Mis concert. As said earlier my review for this is already up on my blog if you wish to check it out. 

The month ended a lot of admin and personal bits I wanted to tick off my list. Going to the hairdressers and having my hair completely transformed into a gorgeous shade of blonde really helped boost my confidence and make me feel like a new girl. This especially was very much needed for me as throughout the month I suffered a lot with losing a sense of myself and feeling huge amounts of burn out. But I feel I'm on the more positive side of that matter now luckily!

I would love to hear how your August went and what you got up too.
Thank you so much for reading!
Toodlepip lovelies
Lucy x

Thursday, September 5, 2019

A Les Miserables Stage Concert // Theatre Review.

It's the most talked-about show of the summer. A classic well-known piece of theatre that's been changed into an all-star staged concert for only 16 weeks! This is due to the Queens Theatre which is now being called the Sodieum theatre is being refurbished. Performances for Les Miserables The All Staged Concert is at the Gielguld Theatre just next door!

I mean let's just take a moment to talk about the casting for a second. The casting within this musical is probably the best, and I hold myself to this now and forevermore I have ever been lucky to have a chance to see. With the likes of Michael Ball, Alfie Boe, Matt Lucas, and Carrie Hope Fletcher There is certainly no room for complaints. This casting choice did not disappoint in the slightest, as soon as Alfie Boe came out to sing the crowd was already cheering. Although I'm a huge fangirl for my big named West end stars, Matt Lucas personally stole the show for me. With his hilariously witty remarks both in and out of a script. Including his singing had us all within fits of laughter whenever his presence graced the stage.

Although the show was titled as Les Miserables. The atmosphere that filled the theatre was of a totally different level of vibe.  With it being an all-star staged concert, the production differed to the normal style Les Mis is normally seen as. The show was filled with the cast singing songs from the show and acting was kept to a minimum. Although like in much Les Mis tradition, the marching during 'Do You Hear The People Sing' had to be kept in. So, in this case, the stage production was of such a lower-end scale as compared to the previous version of the show itself.

Special mentions had to definitely go to Carrie Hope Fletcher singing 'I Dreamed A Dream'. I wasn't very sure of how Carrie would fit into the role of Fantine. But a casting choice here was so right. It felt like the emotion her character was feeling at that particular time was pouring through every word she sang. Let's just say I got very emotional. Another special mention has to go to Alfie Boe during 'Bring Him Home' because again just like Carrie, the singing took me away with emotions and I am pretty sure every single person felt the same as the cheering he received after was out of this world.

Another thing I would like to add is Shan Ako playing Éponine, was a phenomenal choice. Her voice was just as strong as the Éponine's before her. She's a real hidden gem. Much like her co-star Lily Kerhoas playing Cossette. Her innocent and sweet singing voice and acting really helped her make the role her own.

I have never seen a crowd react in such a way after the performance had finished. If anything it was such a blessing to be able to see such a star-studded cast, from new performers to older performers. This performance was one to definitely last a life time in my memories and I wish I could do it all again.

Have you seen this particular version of Les Miserables or seen it before? I would love to know!
Until next time. Thank you for reading!
Toodlepip lovelies
Lucy x

Thursday, August 29, 2019

A Round Up Of My First Year Of University.

University for me was an experience full of ups and downs that differed majorly depending on the circumstances. It was filled with everything I thought it would be (and everything I didn't expect). If you take at least one thing away from this post; it's okay to feel stress in any given situation and that feeling is extremely normal. But please and I stress this part, talk to somebody about it when it gets too bad for you to handle yourself. I encourage you to talk about it, I promise it'll make you feel better as the saying goes, 'A problem shared is a problem halved'. 

Towards the end of my first year of university, I was really struggling. My life at this stage university was trying to write my last essay before the summer break, revise for my end of module exam and trying to balance moving house as well.  It was a lot, I'll be honest here. I struggled, I neglected my own self-care and any kind of balance in my life that it started affecting my social and work lives. I was highly emotional and I honestly hand on heart can say it was probably the lowest I have felt. I'm still going through the waves of emotions right now, but slowly,  I eventually started speaking to someone and asked for help. I'll admit I asked a little too late in my circumstances and I feel if I had sought help sooner I wouldn't have felt so bad on a daily basis. But that's the great thing about sharing things personal reflection can be seen. So I guess with me sharing this on to my little blog and talking about this subject, I hope you can learn from my experiences to ensure that If you or somebody you know is going through a similar situation to me they'll have even the tiniest bit of advice to go with. 

However, my first year of university wasn't all doom of gloom, with rain comes sunshine and I enjoyed several parts of it. One of them is getting back into education. I don't shy away from talking about the fact that my academic life growing up wasn't easy but slipping into university life after taking a gap year was easier than I thought. I found that English was definitely my niché, and something I wanted to pursue after graduation. I don't know exactly what type of job I want to do, I mean I don't need to know until at least my third year, or at least that is what I am reassuring myself with. I loved being able to read books and analyse them for my degree. In some ways, it honestly feels like I'm not doing it for university, (the only time it feels like it's work is when I've been so busy with other things and I'm writing my essay way to close to the deadline). But I guess what my point here that I am trying to say is University isn't for everyone it's a struggle, but if you are studying something you love or working towards something that'll benefit you in terms of gaining a job after graduation. It feels you with motivation to do better.

I finished my first year with a 2:1. Something I didn't expect myself to get. At the start of the year, I wasn't even expecting to gain a pass let alone a good score. I hope my second year goes just as well. 

For any of my readers out there that have been to university or are in university now, how did your academic year go? 

I hope you enjoyed reading this different style of blogpost. 
Until next time.
Toodlepip Lovelies
Lucy x

Friday, August 9, 2019

A Rocky Horror Theatre Review.

The iconic Rocky Horror show took a jump to the left as it arrived into my local theatre. Growing up I watched the movie quite a lot due to it is not only a cult classic but one of my mum's favourite movies. Although watching the movie and my many years of dipping my toe in different styles of the theatre realm, I was not prepared for this.

Now, in case you have never heard of the Rocky Horror Show. (Although you must have been living under a rock for most of your life). The show starts with Brad and his wife to be Janet, are stranded during a storm as their car breaks downs two miles from a castle. Home to Dr frank n Furter the star of the show himself. Played by Stephen Webb in the show I saw, who was exceptional from start to finish. the story unravels itself from there with the craziness of aliens, forbidden planets, sexual adventures and the epic 'Time Warp' that'll get you up and dancing on your two feet in no time.

I feel the most appropriate way to categorize my thoughts on the show and addressing all the good (and bad) parts is in the midst of a bullet point list. I mean who doesn't love a list?

Audience Participation. 
During the 5:30 show I watched on a Friday evening the crowd were as rowdy as ever but in a controlled way. Heckling with perfect timing and with the correct wording that was greeted with laughter all around. They were no match for Steve Punt who's witty remarks were also matched with laughter. Him playing the narrator made the show, and in some regards it makes you wonder if Steve is actually given a script or if the hecklers are his script. In my eyes, Steve is the best fit for the role. (The role of the narrator changes as the tour travels and relocates theatres). 

Although the audience was hesitated at first, which is always surprising seeming eighty percent of the audience were dressed up in their finest rocky horror outfits or should I say dressed down. They were up and dancing in no time during the time warp and waving their lights during 'there's a light'. (Which is my favourite song of the entire performance). 

Casting Choice. 
Joanne Clifton's butter wouldn't melt Janet, (slut) really showed that footwork wasn't the only thing she was talented for. Often known in relation to her brother Kevin Clifton. Joanne's vocals and acting really stole the show for me. Don't get me wrong I love the theatre in all premises but I'm often hesitant and in some cases reluctant to view a show when a 'big name' is put up. And her pairing with James Darch's boy next door approach to Brad (asshole) gave the knight in shining armor pantomime effect to the overall show.

Most loved and recognized for his muscles when playing Rocky is Calum Evans. Don't get me wrong he is a fine specimen of a man (that's mostly due to the reason of his creation). His acrobatic moves resulted in adding another level of madness into the show.  Although at one point it made me laugh when he proceeded to leave the stage doing a handstand as Dr. Frank sang his second solo of the show about going home.

Sound, Set, and Lighting.
With many a touring show, space is limited as compared to that of West End production. However, is this version of Rocky horror the set was not compromised in the slightest and with the aid of the lighting worked really well. Although one thing to be noted here is if you or anybody that you know suffers from epilepsy beware of the flashing lights as they are repeated throughout the show.

In terms of song performances, the best eruption of wolf whistles and cheering from the crowd was as Dr. Frank stepped on in his own opening number. The first notes of 'Sweet transvestite' had been played and everyone went crazy. This was very much rightly so as Stephen Webb's voice and acting were next to nothing I had seen before. He embodied the character beautifully and played to everyone in the fantasies of the audience!

I thoroughly enjoyed watching every minute of the performance and applaud the hard work each performer put into every show they did, not just the week they were down at the Cliffs but for all of the tours. If you haven't seen Rocky Horror yourself you really need to check it out.

Until next time. Toodlepip lovelies 
Lucy x

Monday, July 1, 2019

Staples for Summer.

Now that it is officially Summertime, although June's weather has been very hit and miss over the past few weeks I thought I would share my summer staples for this season. Let's hope that this good weather streak we have going on is here to stay.

Something I can absolutely not live without when it comes to the hotter months, that is either on holiday or at home is a maxi skirt. This floral maxi skirt is beautiful. I love the yellow patterned detail and it would match perfectly with a simple white tee. Although is patterned pieces are a little bit out of your comfort zone, plain coloured maxi skirts in either a grey or khaki colour go well with a lot of t-shirts. Maxi skirts are just perfect for those effortless outfit choices.

Also on the trend of effortless style, a simple casual dress that you can just throw on is perfect. I like this from New Look and at a bargain of a price, you really can not go wrong. It is perfect for those effortless casual days that involves running errands or going to the beach. Paired with some brown open toe sandals you'll look effortlessly stylish. Although pictured above is the dress in blue it does come in a selection of different colours also. My favourite is, of course, the light blue but also the whit, though I really do not need any more white/cream coloured dresses or items in my wardrobe.

Playsuits, playsuits playsuits. Who doesn't love a good playsuit when it comes to the hotter summer months. They are simply cute and come in many different styles and patterns, perfect for wearing while you are on holiday on top of your bikini or going to a BBQ party when the British summer decides to be on our side. Although the only thing I don't love about playsuits is how whenever you use the bathroom especially out in public you become exposed, you can ignore that for how pretty they are. H&M is my favourite place to shop for them.

Although Levi's is on the more expensive side of fashion. I love their denim, especially their denim skirts. My favourite tends to the washed dark denim style, mostly because I feel it goes with a lot more in my wardrobe as opposed to lighter washed denim. Pairing this skirt with a white t-shirt and my favourite yellow cardigan from Asos is my go-to outfit for the summer.

White cotton top that goes with anything and is paired with frilly sleeves, what more could a girl want? Perfect for that more dressier option within the sporadic hot periods of our summer, it's a great alternative if dresses are not your kind of thing. I do not tend to shop at River Island however I couldn't help myself. Imagine how stylish and put together you'll look with this and a pair of denim jeans.

When it comes to tee dresses I tend to sway towards the more floral side of the fashion style. However, I found out a new love for things that are pink and this Pretty Little Thing one ticks all of those kinds of boxes. Frill tree dresses for me are the perfect outfits for picnics and afternoon tea spent weekends and shows the feminine side of my wardrobe choices.

Accessories are any key for a good outfit, and these season straw bags are the perfect addition. However, straw bags can range in terms of pricing so this New Look alternative is a bargain. It also comes in a range of different colours though, so if you are the type of person who loves to add a pop of colour to a plain outfit it's a good addition to your wardrobe.

I hope you enjoy these top seven staples I have shared with you all today,and I hope you are enjoying this lovely streak of hot weather we are having at the moment. 

Thank you for reading.
Toodlepip lovelies.
Lucy x

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Top Tips For Disneyland Paris.

Disneyland is magical. A theme park filled with all your favourite characters and fear induced rollercoasters that keep you on the edge of your feet. Although, Disneyland comes with its own set of problems. No matter how magical a place it is. So I've compiled a list of top tips I've learnt over the times I have been.

Buy any Disney Merchandise just before you go home.
You don't want to be hauling around bags and bags of stuff as you meet characters and ride on the rollercoasters so one of your best options is to purchase all those essential (but certainly expensive) goodies that you need at home. Disney also offers a shop and collect later option, much like click and collect food shopping or clothing items. Referred to as hands-free shopping, you leave your items at the store, and are able to pick them up after 6 pm within Disney village as you leave the park. Or, if you are staying within a Disney hotel, you can pick them up after 8pm. Obviously, though, you would want to purchase those necessary Disney ears to heighten your magical experience and take them with you for the day. Disney's ears are an essential part of any Disney experience. Mine this year was glittery baby pink ones.

Structuring your day to ensure maximum efficiency and organisation. 
You can't go to Disneyland without an action plan. Although Disneyland is certainly not as big as Disney World Florida if you incorporate Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios it's a lot of things to do within a day or weekend space. Because of this, if you walk around the parks without knowing what to do next, you'll easily miss things. Pick out three attractions that you really want to go on and plan your day around that. Or, if you are more into meeting the Disney characters such like The princesses or Mickey Mouse himself go to them first when you enter the park, or during magic hours if you are staying at a Disney Hotel as the queues for meeting characters can get really long.

Parade placement is really important. 
Main street and past the royal castle stage is where the parade takes place, the space is rather large but it fills up rather quickly. In the past with my experience, I have had cast members inform us that you only need to get there fifteen/thirty minutes before the parade starts. However, if you want to ensure you get a good seat along the pavements of Main street or on the castle entrance path you are better off setting up camp an hour before the parade starts. Though luckily the parade changes are not as often so if you are staying for the weekend, you don't need to watch it every day of your trip.

Fast passes are an important element of any Disney trip.
Due to the popular demand for the rides, the wait times and large queue lines within the park puts a lot of people off from visiting. But to combat this Disney has you covered and if there are certain rides you can obtain the fast pass scheme for. Disney has introduced their Super FastPass and Ultimate Fast Pass schemes into Disneyland Paris that changes the ball game slightly. With these, you are able to have unlimited access to the Fast Pass queues for the fast pass rides for however long you pay for it. Prices start at 30 Euros.

The Disney Princesses, Princess Pavilion meet and greet is best in the morning. 
The Princesses are the most memorable part of any Disney experience. But sadly, they are also the hardest ones to meet. Often located within the Princess Pavilion they normally have two princesses on rotation, one in the morning the other in the afternoon. Though they are the hardest ones to meet due to the extensive queue waiting times that can range from a minimum of 60 minutes to 120 minutes. Though, if the princesses are either on yours or your child's bucket list you are at your best chances to go early in the day, during the morning, this is due to the queues haven't had a chance to properly form. It's always good to ask a cast member who is coming over so you are able to know the character before the rest of the guests' clock on. It's also good to note if you have a green card for yourself or your child go in the morning also to book your slot to meet the princesses quickly as they book at fast too. (Characters you don't often have to do this for is Darth Vader and Mickey Mouse as they are there from 10 to 7 pm).

Take a packed lunch with you. 
Much to popular disbelief, Disneyland does allow you to take in your own food. (as long as it's not a full picnic basket including fold-up chairs. which is certainly a French classic tradition). It's a good idea to do especially with the pricing of snacks and food within the Disney park itself. Although Disney village restaurant prices are not any better.

Don't go on the weekend. 
If you can avoid visiting during the weekend. During the week is the best time to go for not only crowds but for getting your money's worth. Weekends are obviously when the park is most popular so the queue times are extended and the price of the ticket goes up. This also applies to school holidays. So if you are able to visit during term time you will have some spare money to be able to use on that much needed Disney merchandise.

I hope you enjoy these Disney tips and use them for when you are on your next Disney trip. I would also love to hear some of your tips also as I'm always on the lookout for more ways to get the most out of my trips.

Thank you for reading.
Toodle pip lovelies 
Lucy x

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

A Mothers Day Gift Guide.

As Mother's day is just around the corner, (it's this upcoming Sunday). I decided to put together this cute little gift guide, but there is certainly no need to panic! It's okay if you haven't bought a present yet! It's also okay if you are incredibly organised and your presents are sorted, but for some who need a little nudge, a mother's day gift guide is essential. It always helpful to have a little bit of inspiration when it comes to treating their mum this mothers day is struck. With this is mind, here I have collected my top choices of present pieces for you lovelies today!

1) Candles Can you ever have too many candles? Yankees are always my go to for a top quality product that makes a great gift. Be sure to look out for Boot's Yankee Candle gift sets they sell around these type of seasonal events.Although you really have to be quick to snatch these up whenever they come into stock as they sell out quite fast. But for the price they go down to can you blame it? For a cheaper alternative Home Bargains do some great jar candles with many options ranging from the most popular scents of fresh linen to some obscure ones like rhubarb and pear which is great for a fresh breeze of spring.

2) Clothes If you know your mum really well, or if you tend to have a similar taste when it comes to clothing, a item of clothing or an accessory is a good alternative to a gift. One of my top picks is certainly this white embroidered dress from Cath Kidston. The swing dress skirt is my favourite part, and the length is a part length for women who don't like showing their legs off as much.

3) Bath Sets Not everyone is able to spend a day or weekend at a spa, (although a spa weekend is a lovely present if you and your mum have the time to spare) however this bath set from Champneys is a good at home alternative. Filled with goodies such as bath soak, shower gel and body butter your mum can feel really pampered in the comfort of her own home.

4) Flowers Who's mum doesn't deserve a bunch of flowers? They are such a lovely present to give, to not only brighten up their day but brighten up wherever they are placed with their variety of different shades of colours.
Top tip! Make sure that when you put flowers in the vase you remove all foliage that is submerged to ensure they last for a good few weeks.

5) Cooking/Baking Books I don't know about you, but I love a good baking session, from baking brownies, to the classic vanilla sponge to a New York style cheesecake. But whatever I am baking i'm always swayed towards my Classic Mary Berry cook books and this Mary Berry baking bible is one of my favourite, filled with a variety of different recipes your mum can spend forever baking all the different goodies. (Hopefully including a few of your favourites so you can eat all her hardwork!).

6) Pyjamas is there anything as good as snuggling up with a cozy pair of pyjamas on underneath a fluffy blanket on the sofa watching netflix? And who doesn't want to treat their mum to a new pair? My top pick are these Topshop Mickey Mouse ones. I love Disney and you can never have too many character themed pjs. My other top pick selections would be the Pyjamas from Cath Kidston and Tescos as they are both filled with super soft quality items.

7) Perfume This can be a trickier one if you are not sure what scent  to go for, but if your mum has a staple favourite thats running out she will love this present. My mums favourite has always been Angel by Mugler. But some other great options that I personally love is Daisy by Marc Jacobs for those that like a sweeter smell, and reminds me of summer holidays. However, a more daring perfume that I know is very popular with our generation is Lady Million by Paco Robanne.

8) Choccies Everybody loves chocolate, need I say more. Some great boxes are Lindor for the luxurious, and my personal favourite that my mum needs to hide from me, Dairy box by Cadburys. Those chocolate boxes are certainly lethal as you never really know how many you are eating until the box is 2/3rds empty.... whoops. 

9) Make-up: Another one that is a great gift if you know what sort of shades your mum likes to wear. This can be a great time to add some more luxury makeup to your mums such as a Chanel lipstick, or a YSL blush, I feel they are the easiest to buy for someone as opposed to a foundation or powder as everyone has different likes and needs for their skin.

I really hope you enjoyed my little mothers day edit, and some of the ideas I have given you become helpful. I would love to know what you have brought your mother for mother's day or what you have organised.

Thank you so much for reading. 
Toodlepip lovelies
Lucy x